Provincial lawmakers on Tuesday launched an investigation into the big-time swindling cases allegedly carried out by a Mindanao-based syndicate that carted away no less than P2.6 million in assorted goods and four vehicles which they obtained through fraudulent transactions with Bohol residents.
Prov’l Board Member Ricky Masamayor, chair of the committee on peace and order and Prov’l Board Member Abel Damalerio of the committee on trade and industry led the hearing which aimed to identify loopholes in government that allowed the Mindanao based syndicate to victimize Boholanos. The group was confirmed to be holders of basic permits to operate to include the Mayor’s Permit and registration papers with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Police Supt. Rene Kyamko, chief of the provincial investigation and detective management branch of the Phillippine National Police (PNP) said formal complaints were already filed against Feliza Domingo Torralba, Merryanne Ramas Torralba, Ferrer Ramsi Torres, John Michael, Rosenda Co, Liah G. Domingo and two others were charged with estafa through the use of bouncing checks.
He told the probe bodies that the complaint was jointly filed by the Tagbilaran City Police Station (TCPS) and a certain Jocelyn Melina Balais, a sales and marketing staff of JJED Philippines Inc., one of the swindling group’s victims.
Of the 26 victims, only two have formally filed their complaints with the City Prosecutors Office while the other victims are having their complaints reviewed by the police.
The other victims are preparing to file charges for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22, or the “Bouncing Checks Law”, according to Kyamko.
Ma. Elena Deligero, manager of Security Bank (Tagbilaran branch) who appeared before the probe team said the group was able to open bank accounts since they have their basic requirements submitted for them to transact business with the bank. However, the bank manager admitted that they could not release the footages of their CCTV monitors unless they will receive a court order since the bank’s clients are protected under the Bank Secrecy Law.
Analyn Bermoy Antasuda, owner of the house the group rented at Royal Palms Subdivision in Dauis town confirmed that they started to occupy the house in October 2 while the victims knew they were issued bouncing checks on October 31st, two days after the group left their rented house,
Aside from the assorted goods valued at P2.6 million, the syndicate likewise brought with their four vehicles, 3 Kia Bongo and a brand new Mitsubishi Adventure.
CI Gaylord Tamayo, PNP- Highway Patrol Group-Bohol Chief explained during the hearing that the Anti-Carnapping Permit is no longer required by government for cars to be shipped to any points in the country on board barges and cargo ships. He said the vehicles boarded on a Cagayan de Oro bound vessel on Oct. 29 at the Jagna Port could not be held unless a police order is issued.
Others who attended yesterday’s hearing were PNP Tagbilaran Chief, Superintendent Patricio Degay Jr., Provincial Public Safety Company Chief, Senior Inspector Charlie Reyes, Edgar Boado, Commander sa Philippine Coast Guard-Tagbilaran, DILG Provincial Director Ma. Loisella Lucino, Erwin Patalingjug of LTO-Tagbilaran, Joe Hibaya of DTI-Bohol, Samuel Belderol of the City Licensing Division, Mona Liza de Veyra of PhilHealth-Tagbilaran, Tohammel Yhaya of BIR-Tagbilaran, Jill Marie Rollorata of Mitsubishi-Tagbilaran, and Rodney Lumuthang of East West Bank.
The two committees will convene another hearing to clearly establish measures to prevent Boholanos from being victimized again with such big time swindling operations,