by Roselle R. Aquino

Camp Vicente Lim, Calamba City – Elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT) Batangas arrested a suspect pretending to be a personnel of LTFRB in an operation at Purok 4, Barangay Lodlod, Lipa City, Batangas.

The suspect was identified as Virgilio Franco who was arrested due to illegal possession of firearms per Search Warrant issued by Hon. Leo-Jon Ramos, Presiding Judge of RTC, Branch 85, Lipa City, Batangas.

An unlicensed caliber 45 pistol, caliber 38 revolver and ammunition were recovered from the suspect.

In a report, Col Marlon Santos, Regional Chief of CIDG RFU 4A, said that the suspect misrepresented himself to be an employee of LTFRB Regional Office in Lipa City, Batangas and bragged that he is a close friend of the Chairman of the agency.

The suspect preyed on operators of buses, UV Express and jeepneys with expired franchises. He allegedly lured the victims that he can process and fix their problems of expired franchises in exchange for Php 250,000.00 per impounded vehicle. The suspect who is projecting himself as a person in authority was often seen in possession of firearms while transacting business with the victims. 

After the suspect collects money from the unsuspecting victims, he stopped communicating with them and was nowhere to be found, leaving the victims hopeless, penniless and their vehicles still in the impounding areas.

The victims immediately sought the help of CIDG Batangas PFU who subsequently coordinated with the LTFRB Regional Office which confirmed that Franco is not an employee of the LTFRB. Further coordination with the PNP Firearms Explosives Division revealed that the suspect is in possession of firearms with expired registration, thus, the application of a Search Warrant.