NBI arrests man posing as Tugade; impostor also facing charges for posing as Panelo

Published October 30, 2019, 3:13 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Jeffrey Damicog

A man who has been duping victims of money by posing as Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade has been arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI / MANILA BULLETIN)
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI / MANILA BULLETIN)

Meanwhile, Tugade expressed gratitude to the NBI for having arrested the suspect who was identified as Jose Villafuerte.

“The swift action of the NBI in acting on my complaint led to the arrest of subject Villafuerte,” said Tugade who met and expressed his thanks to NBI Director Dante Gierran on Tuesday.

Gierran said the suspect was arrested by the NBI’s Special Task Force (NBI-STF) during an operation conducted in Pitogo in Consolacion, Cebu last September 23.

Tugade said the suspect has been using his identity in Facebook posts where Villafuerte has been asking for solicitations for bogus government projects.

During its investigation, the NBI learned that Villafuerte has been the recipient of various money transfers made by his victims through Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala.

Because of this, the NBI operatives conducted an operation where the suspect was caught receiving the latest money transfer.

NBI operatives seized from his possession a driver’s license and a Unified Multi-Purpose Identification (UMID) card bearing the name of Tugade.

Gierran disclosed that Villafuerte is also facing multiple charges in various courts including for posing as Malacañang Spokesman Salvador Panelo.

In the meantime, the suspect is currently detained at the NBI Detention Facility considering he is also the subject of arrest warrants issued by the regional trial courts (RTC) of Taguig and Manila Cities for non-bailable charges.