Police tracking down shady people selling smuggled and fake cigarettes have arrested a third suspect at a public market in Guiguinto, Bulacan, not far from where two other preys were captured earlier by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Chief Insp. Patrick Ramillano, PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Bulacan said Eva Bulante was caught in the act of selling fake Mighty Corporation (MC) products at the Santa Rita Public Market.
Bulante was charged for violating Section 155 in relation to Section 170 of Republic Act 8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.
CIDG chief, Director Victor Deona, said fake tobacco products pose serious threat to consumers and the economy because they are not tax-paid.
Deona said that aside from the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, those arrested could also be held for violating Republic Act 7394, or the Consumer Protection Act, and the National Internal Revenue Code, with penalties ranging from one year to 12 years imprisonment and a fine of up to P200,000 or both.
Earlier, NBI agents collared Guillermo Ediesca and Jonathan Jimenez while selling counterfeit Mighty Full Flavor and Menthol 100’s soft pack variants at a sari-sari store in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Among the discrepancies confirmed by Mighty were the cigarette quality and the print packaging such as misspelling of the word “Manufactured” as “Manufacture,” and the absence of an obscure manufacturing code on the package, among others.
Mighty representatives together with PNP, Bureau of Customs, NBI and the Bureau of Internal Revenue officials witnessed the destruction of the more than 4,000 sticks of bogus Mighty brand.
The counterfeit cigarettes were part of a large cache of fake products seized last month by authorities inside a warehouse in Sta. Cruz, Manila.