Two men believed to be backed by syndicate in peddling fake driver’s licenses in Bohol have been arrested by law enforcement agents in Jagna town.
Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 director Victor Caindec who led the joint operation himself told the Chronicle on Monday that they entrapped and arrested Maximo Galagar, Jr., 59, and Alfredo Cogotano, in Barangay Boctol, Jagna on July 19.
The entrapment operation was set in motion after two victims appeared before the Jagna Police Station to file complaints against Galagar and Cogotano for issuing the counterfeit licenses.
According to Caindec, both men will be charged with estafa and falsification of public documents.
Meanwhile, those caught driving with a fake license will be meted a P-3,000 fine and a 12-month driver’s license suspension as stipulated in Republic Act No. 4136.
During the entrapment, the joint operatives of the LTO and the Jagna Police Station led by Major Andie Corpus allegedly seized fake licenses from the duo.
Caindec said the confiscated licenses which were then brought to the LTO district office in Garcia Hernandez for verification were proven to be fake.
He added that rates of the counterfeit licenses ranged from P6,000 to P12,000.
An amount of P12,000 would be enough to purchase a fake plastic driver’s license while P6,000 would only buy a temporary paper license.
“Duha na ka level ang ilang presyo sa sindikato, naay sindakato na og imong ma raise P6,000 ra, hatagan kag lisensya pero papel. Unya mo ingon dayon na ‘kanang imong ID, kuhaa lang sa LTO pero three months from now ha kay e-upload pa na.” So after three months, wagtang na tong imong contact,” he said.
According to Caindec, part of the duo’s modus was to convince their victims that they have connections inside the LTO.
“Ilang ra ng script na ‘naa koy suod na higala sa LTO’ aron mo tuo ang [biktima] na tinuod,” said Caindec.
Caindec noted that he personally led the operation after the police expressed concern over the possible involvement of LTO employees in the racket.
The official assured police that he will file complaints against any LTO officer who will be pinpointed to be involved in the scam.
“Ako gyuy nangunay og pangatubang ana sa Jagna Police Station kay kuwayan sila og naay kakonsaba sa sulod [LTO], mao ako giingnan na ‘akoy complainant diha para pasalig nako ninyo na og naay connection na sa sulod e-apil sa kaso,’” said Caindec.
Caindec reminded the public that driver’s licenses procured outside of LTO offices are “definitely” fake , adding that the first step in the application for an application is through gathering of biometric data which is done at LTO establishments.
“Simple ra na. Og nakakuha gani ka og lisensya na wa ko mo adto sa LTO, fake g’yud na,” Caindec said. “So og wa kay biometric record na gikuha sud sa LTO na opisina, fake g’yud na sigurado.”
According to Caindec, more than 100 persons in Bohol have fallen prey to individuals or groups peddling fake licenses.
The official noted that Galagar and Cogotano were likely backed by a syndicate and were getting their fake licenses from Manila.
“Among tan-aw tingali dako na na sindikato,” said Caindec. “Duha na sila nadakpan pero allegedly naa pa kuno nay lain personalities pero di man manganta.” (R. Tutas)