LEGAZPI CITY --- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) office here will initiate an investigation this week to trace and identify the source of the fake money amounting to P28,000 confiscated from a suspect in San Andres, Catanduanes early this month.
Lawyer Thomas Cariño, deputy head of BSP-Legazpi, in an interview on Tuesday, noted that the huge amount suggests a large-scale counterfeiting operation.
“We will exert extra effort to identify the source of this confiscated counterfeit cash in Catanduanes,” he said.
BSP-Legazpi also announced on Friday that it would issue a temporary certification that the confiscated bills are indeed fake or counterfeit.
The police lamented having difficulty in filing charges against the suspect in the absence of an official certification by BSP that the money is bogus.
Acting to a complaint from two persons in San Andres town, police authorities early this month accosted Gilbert Bahillo, 35, who was about to board a ferry boat at San Andres port.
Betty Espedillion, 55, and Rowena Ramos, 30, told PO2 Harold Jay Soria that they were paid with fake money by the suspect.
At the port, the police confiscated from Bahillo’s possession some P28,000 worth of counterfeit bills in P1,000 and P200 denominations.
The lawmen also recovered an alleged drug paraphernalia and P3,659 genuine money in different denominations from the suspect, who claimed to be a resident of Barangay Bitano, this city.
The police are set to file the necessary charges against Bahillo once they get hold of the BSP certification. The Revised Penal Code of the Philippines prohibits “forging or falsification of treasury or bank notes (money bills).”