CIDG agents nab 10 persons, seized P7 million worth of butane canisters, LPG tanks and refilling machines in Kalunasan raid
CEBU CITY, Philippines–Agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-7 arrested 10 persons and seized around P7 million worth of butane canisters, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanks and LPG canister refilling machines from an illegal refilling plant in sitio Dap-dap, barangay Kalunasan in Cebu City on Tuesday afternoon, January 7, 2020.
Among those arrested was one John Justice Monares, 28, the reported owner of the refilling plant and allegedly the son of Kalunasan village chief Nunilon Monares.
During their inventory this morning, January 8, 2020, Major Allan Tolosa, assistant regional chief of CIDG-7, said the plant was put under surveillance after they received complaints from concerned citizens.
The operation was in coordination with the Department of Energy (DOE) Visayas Field Office, Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG)-7 and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT).
Tolosa also revealed that on Januray 6, they received a letter from the DOE asking for police assistance in raiding the butane refilling plant.
Arrested along with Monares were Feler Viagedor, 25-years old; Ronel Dunque Bacho, 29; Dexter Singuit, 23; Jefrey Abacajan Barliso, 21; Junrey Amaro Malijao, 20; Joemarie Villarba, 24; Kenneth Bryan Cabigas, 28; and Jamaica Fe Carabio, 29.
Tolosa said they will be facing charges for violation of Presidential Decree no. 1865 which prohibits the illegal trade of petroleum and/or petroleum products.
The police also found out that the plant was operating without an environmental compliance certificate (ECC), and has no permit to refill, transport and distribute butane canisters.
Atty. Russ Mark Gamallo, legal officer of DOE-Visayas Field Office, described the plant as the biggest refilling plant operating illegally in the region that they have busted so far.
He added that the plant was also supplying illegally refilled butane canisters to the province of Bohol.
It can produce around 5,000 to 10,000 LPG refilled canisters daily, Gamallo said.
Aside from the criminal case, the DOE will also file administrative charges against the operator of the refilling plant.
“Ang safety gyud ani. Aside from illegal siya, unsafe gyud kaayo ang paggamit aning single use canisters. Dili gyud ni siya allowed for refilling,” Gamallo said.
Due to this, Gamallo urged athe public to patronize only legally refilled butane canisters that are accredited by the DOE. /rcg
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