Fake certificates of tribal membership discovered

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag April 10,2017 - 11:07 PM

 

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has discovered a racket involving the issuance of fake Certificates of Tribal Membership (CTM) and its submission as part of the requirements for applications for fire officer.

BFP Regional Director Samuel Tadeo said 136 “Muslim” applicants submitted fake CTMs.

“We received verbal reports on this and we noticed that there is an unusual number of Muslim applicants. That is why we asked the NCMF-Visayas (National Commission on Muslim Filipinos) to check the authenticity of the certificates,” Tadeo told Cebu Daily News.

Two government employees are now under investigation, one from the office of the Cebu Provincial Fire Marshall (CPFM) and another from the NCMF-Visayas.

Senior Fire Officer Steve Tanudtanud is assigned at the Chief Administration Office of the CPFM, while Cherylvenia Fernandez is assigned at the Finance Office of the NCMF-Visayas.

Initial reports said Tanudtanud would ask Fernandez to issue CTMs to applicants, including those who don’t meet the required height.

The BFP requires male applicants to be at least 5’4” and female applicants to be at least 5’2”. Applicants should also be not more than 30 years old.
Tanudtanud allegedly asked the applicants for money in exchange for the CTMs, which are supposed to be issued free of charge.

The CTM is issued by the NCMF office to Muslims as proof of their identity.

This certificate can also waive the height requirement for those applying in government agencies like the BFP-7 and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Verification

Last March 27, Abundio Salinas, BFP assistant regional director for administration, wrote NCMF Regional Director Malo B. Manonggiring to verify the authenticity of the CTMs submitted to them by the applicants.

In his reply, lawyer Yusoph Abbas, chief of the Legal Affairs Division of NCMF, said the names of the applicants given the CTMs were not found in the records from 2010 to 2017.

“In view of your request to secure for the verification on the authenticity of the Tribal Membership Certificate of the 113 applicants and the additional list of 23 applicants with whom waiver has been granted by your office, we would like to inform your office that their names were not found in the records of 2010 – 2017 under the administration of Regional Director Malo B. Manonggiring,” the letter read.

The NCMF-Visayas, therefore, “cannot confirm the validity / authenticity of their Certificates,” the letter further read.

How much?

“We cannot estimate yet how much money was taken from these applicants for them to have these CTMs. We still have not received any formal complaint from the victims,” Tadeo said.

CDN looked for Tanudtanud yesterday morning, but he was not in the office.

Tadeo said Tanudtanud has been assigned in Tuburan to facilitate the construction of the BFP’s training center.

Because of the investigation, Tadeo asked Tanudtanud to report to the Cebu Provincial Fire Marshall office.

Tanudtanud is retiring this year.

‘Fact-finding body’

Manonggiring also told CDN that they created a five-man team to investigate Fernandez last April 7.

When CDN visited the NCMF office yesterday morning, Fernandez did not report for work.

“If she will not report for work, then we will send a notice to her why she is not reporting for work,” Manonggiring said.

He said processing the CTM at NCMF is very stringent and applicants need to meet the requirements including Genealogy Form, Information Index Form, Certificate of Tribal Membership from the barangay captain or tribal chieftain or leader of the applicant’s tribe, among others.

“Even if they have these fake certificates with them, we will know that those are fake because the original ones have security features and of course we also have our own records,” Manonggiring said.

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TAGS: applicants, certificates, CPFM, discovered, Fernandez, membership, tribal, Visayas

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