By Aaron Recuenco
The Western Visayas regional police warned yesterday the public to be wary on the proliferation of fake peso bills, especially amid the expected buying spree during the coming holiday season.
Brig. Gen. Rene Pamuspusan, director of the Western Visayas regional police, said they confiscated more than 50 pieces of fake P500 bills from a 20-year-old man in Jaro, Iloilo City.
He identified the suspect as Edmond dela Torre who is now detained and facing criminal charges.
Pamuspusan said Dela Torre was actually arrested by barangay officials based on the complaint of a sari-sari store owner where the suspect bought some items using two fake P500 bills.
On November 4, the official said Dela Torre bought several sticks of cigarettes and a bottle of liquor. The store owner did not notice that that was handed to him was counterfeit money. The suspect even got P205 change for the items.
A few hours later, Dela Torre went back to the same store and bought several sticks of cigarettes, a bottle of liquor and ice cubes using a fake P500 bill anew.
But during the inventory, the store owner suspected that the two P500 bills were fake. The assistance of barangay officials of Barangay San Isidro was sought to track down Dela Torre. The suspect was arrested with 54 pieces of fake P500 bills in his possession.
“We advise the public to be very careful when it comes to fake peso bills, especially this coming Christmas. They need to know how to detect if the peso bill is fake,” said Pamuspusan.
“We also encourage the public to report similar incidents for us to catch those who are circulating these counterfeits,” he added.