Police warn public against proliferation of fake bills, crimes this holiday season
CEBU CITY, Philippines – An official of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas is urging the public to always be cautious when accepting bills, especially if these would come from strangers.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, the PRO-7 spokesperson, said that anyone could become a victim of groups peddling counterfeit bills.
“Kung tan-aw ninyo, naa moy duda nga ang gihatag sa inyo is fake then report to the nearest police station so that you will be assisted. Unya kung pupwede pang dakpon tong nagproliferate ug naggamit sa fake money, then we will do it in accordance with the rules and regulations,” he said.
Pelare said that criminals would always want to take advantage of the festive mood during the Christmas and New Year’s celebration by peddling fake bills.
Festivities in Cebu continue until the Sinulog grand parade in January of each year.
“Para sa tanan, magbantay ta sa possibility nga mogawas tong mga fake money so kinihanglan, kung naa moy mabantayan nga mủng fake to, naa ang kapulisan para motabang ninyo ma-identify kung kinsa nang mga tawhana. Kanang mga CCTV, dako nag tabang para pagsulbad ug pag-ila sa mga daotang mga katawhan,” he added.
Criminals travel to Cebu
In addition, he is urging people to also be cautious against other crimes like theft and robbery.
He said that members of criminal groups often travel to Cebu during the months of December and January to look for victims here.
Last year, they arrested a total of 16 pickpockets. Among them, 15 were traced to have come from Manila.
Pelare said that these people travel to Cebu City and rent temporary spaces here. They frequent crowded areas where they also look for their next victim.
“As expected during holidays, tanang klase nga crimes against property including swindling, use of fake money, will proliferate. So what we are doing in PRO-7 is to maximize our information operation, dissemination of information in order for people to be aware and to avoid being victimized by the proliferation of fake money,” stated Pelare.
“Rest assured [that] your PRO-7, by using intelligence operations, have already detected this modus and we assure you that during this incoming Sinulog 2024, the same fate will happen to these criminals who will visit Cebu,” he said.
Deterrence against crimes
As a deterrence, Pelare said they are being more aggressive in conducting information dissemination against the proliferation of fake bills.
In addition, police visibility will be enhanced especially in crowded places.
Police Colonel Percival R. Zorilla, director of the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO), for his part, is also urging Cebuanos not to hesitate to seek police assistance when needed.
For their own protection, Pelare is urging those who are going out of their homes to attend gatherings like the Sinulog to refrain from bringing valuables.
“Ang amoa na lang is to remind the public that kung mag-celebrate ta sa Sinulog, moadto ta sa crowd. Please be very careful. If it’s okay nga dili mo magdalag valuables then the better,” he said.
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