Task force to probe car-rental racket

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has formed a task force that will handle preliminary investigation of suspects in a car-rental scam that has victimized many car owners in the Philippines.

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Department Order No. 138, signed by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd, named 10 prosecutors to the panel to probe complaints recently made by victims of an alleged syndicate behind the scam.

The task force will be headed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Rosanne Balauag.

Its nine other members are Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Rex Gingoyon; Assistant State Prosecutors Aristotle Reyes, Rodan Parrocha, Bryan Jacinto Cacha Jr., Anna Noreen Devanadera and Jovyanne Escaño-Santamaria; and Assistant Prosecution Attorneys Wendell Bendoval, Joan Garcia and Marc Eico Tariga.

Charged for violations of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code (swindling/estafa in large-scale form) in relation to Presidential Decree 1689 (Increasing the penalty of certain forms of swindling/estafa) are Rafaela Montes Anunciacion of San Pedro City, Laguna; Eleanor “Leah” Constantino Rosales of Santa Rosa City, Laguna; Tychicus Historillo Nambio, of Biñan, Laguna; Jhennelyn Berroya, of San Pedro City, Laguna; Anastacia Montes Cauyan of Biñan, Laguna; Eliseo Cortez of Kabangaan, Tagaytay City; Marilou V. Cruz of San Ildefonso, Bulacan; and Sabina Torrea of Silang, Cavite.

The DOJ last week issued a Lookout Bulletin Order (LBO) against three suspects in the racket , including Anunciacion and Rosales.

Aguirre ordered BI Commissioner Jaime Morente to see to it that all airports and seaports shall be alerted with the flight or travel of all the suspects.

In a meting with the DOJ last week, it was discovered that there are around 500 people who fell victims to the scam.

Under the scam, the suspects posed as renters of private vehicles and pay an agreed amount of monthly rent.

They will then pawn the rented vehicles to third parties.

Some of the vehicles were recovered in Marawi City and Tawi-Tawi in southern Mindanao.

JOMAR CANLAS

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