FOR selling fake complimentary passes to the 39th Metro Manila Festival (MMFF), a 25-year-old man was arrested by the joint forces of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Manila police.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the suspect, whose identity has been temporarily withheld so as not to jeopardize follow-up operations, was arrested in an entrapment operation in a restaurant in Manila.
With the arrest, Tolentino said he has ordered an extensive investigation to unmask the masterminds behind the big-time forgery.
“We have to know the people who have orchestrated this fraudulent scheme. Until then, all MMFF complimentary passes that have been issued previously are cancelled,” Tolentino said after presenting the suspect to the media on Monday afternoon.
According to the suspect, someone offered to give him money in exchange for selling forged MMFF passes online.
The falsified passes were advertised at the buy and sell website sulit.com and cost P800 each.
The suspect has conveyed willingness to help in the investigation. He is facing falsification charges.
The fake passes have the same serial numbers as with the genuine ones.
Tolentino said the MMDA is closely working with the police in identifying the source of the forged passes.
“This is not something to be taken for granted. We have to arrest the people behind this scheme and charge them in court,” the MMDA chief said
With the discovery of the forgery, Tolentino said that they will be printing out new designs of complimentary passes with more security features.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO