Despite recent successful arrests, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) directs the Philippine National Police (PNP) National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to sustain efforts against Recto counterfeiters in light of reports of continued operation in the area.
DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Año says that PNP-NCRPO must maintain vigilance and proactivity in dealing with Recto counterfeiters as claims have been reaching the Department of continues forgery in shops along Recto, Manila.
He explains that efforts against the decades-long practice of falsifying documents of Recto counterfeiters must be persistent as "it is a direct violation of the Revised Penal Code and entails a corresponding sanction under the law".
"We have made some success in our drive against the infamous 'Recto University' but we need to sustain it for this production of bogus documents in Recto has been 'staring at us in the face' for decades now. It is high time that we take decisive actions to once and for all eradicate its operation, and I expect the PNP NCRPO to take the lead on this," says Año.
"Patuloy pa rin angproduksyonhanggangngayon. Marami nang nakinabang at naloko ng mgapekengdokumentonggawang Recto. We will ensure that those who are proven culpable of the crime will be penalized," he adds.
Año also urges Manila Mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada to support PNP NCRPO in its operations against these counterfeiters who have made a living out of counterfeiting and falsification.
"Inaasahan din po namin ang pakikipagtulungan ng lokal na pamahalaan ng Maynila sa pangunguna ni Mayor Estrada upang tuluyan nang matigil ang operasyon ng pamemeke ng mga dokumento sa Recto," he says.
He also directs the DILG Field Office in Manila to strictly monitor the compliance of PNP NCRPO to the Department's directive.
According to Año, the Manila Police District recently busted a shop producing fake documents along Recto through an undercover operation to catch the culprit red-handed, the whole operation recorded using a body camera.
The operation led to the confiscation of 342 fake LTO license cards, 23 fake LTO receipts, 65 blank LTO receipts, 370 blank PVC cards, and an ID card cutter. Also seized were computers, laminating machines, printers, and scanners.
Other agencies of the government such as the National Bureau of Investigation and the Land Transportation Office are also proactively waging war against the production of counterfeited government IDs and documents.
"Hind lamangpo kami sa DILG at PNP angkumikilosupangmapigilanang falsification of documents, magingangibang national agencies ay kasamasaadbokasiyangito. We are warning the people who are engaged in counterfeiting documents, not just in Recto, magingsaibangbahagi ng bansa, we are after you," says Año.
Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code specifies that falsification of documents may be committed by counterfeiting or imitating any handwriting signature or rubric; and issuing in an authenticated form a document claiming to be a copy of an original document when no such original exists, or including in such a copy a statement contrary to, or different from, that of the genuine original.
Making any alteration or intercalation in a genuine document which changes its meaning, among others; causing it to appear that persons have participated in any act or proceeding when they did not in fact so participate; attributing to persons who have participated in an act or proceeding statements other than those in fact made by them, fall as forms of falsifying documents, among others.
The penalty for the crime of falsification is imprisonment of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods - from six months and one day to six years - and a fine of not exceeding P6,000.