CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – A person suspected to be involved in the counterfeiting of Philippine peso bills and assorted documents was arrested by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in a raid here early Thursday (Jan. 23).

The suspect, who was identified as Edgar dela Cerna and goes by the aliases Robert dela Cerna, Tata, and Egay, was nabbed in a housing subdivision in Barangay Tablon, this city, where he set up his operation.

Taken from the suspect were a caliber .38 pistol without a serial number, six pieces of live of ammunition for the revolver, a computer set, a coin-operated computer with internet connection or “pisonet,” three units of computer printers, two automatic voltage regulators, two paper cutters, and 129 pieces of P1,000 bills with different serial numbers.

According to Maj. Napoleon Carpio, CIDG-10 deputy regional chief, dela Cerna is the leader of a group that makes counterfeit money and other documents and the suspect’s associates are still at large.

“We are still validating information that he is connected with other groups,” Carpio said.

Carpio also said the suspect forges legal documents, identification cards, and “everything that can be illegally reproduced,” although the CIDG did not find other faked currencies other than local bills.

He said dela Cerna was previously arrested in 2004 for the same offense, but was able to post bail.

The suspect’s arrest was based on the search warrant issued by a judge based in Gingoog City for violation of Articles 166, 168, and 176 of the Revised Penal Code.

Article 166 refers to the “forging of treasury or bank notes or other document payable to bearer; importing, and uttering such false or forged notes and documents.”

Article 168 is about the illegal possession and use of false treasury or bank notes and other instruments of credit, while article 176 is about the manufacturing and possession of instruments or implements for falsification.

Carpio said the suspect will be facing charges for violation of those articles, as well as violation of Republic Act 10591 for alleged illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.(

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