Forgers back in business after Recto fire
Ghio Ong (The Philippine Star) - December 5, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Despite the fire that reduced around 500 homes and buildings to ashes at the intersection of Quezon Boulevard and Recto Avenue in Manila on Friday, it’s business as usual for forgers who specialize in faking public documents.

Recto Avenue is known for forgers who openly do business and put up signs and samples of their work on their walls for customers to scrutinize.

“It’s still business as usual here, we can produce the documents,” said “Becky,” 36, who works as a helper for a forger.

Some forgers whose stalls did not have electricity after the fire referred their customers to those whose stalls had electricity.

“Roland,” a 43-year-old forger, said they “have to continue this business because this is where we earn our living.” He added that he does not know other means of livelihood.

Roland and other forgers can forge signatures or produce a counterfeit copy of a document within hours, the price depending on the difficulty of the job.

Forgers also offer paper or cloth printing services, sell books and security supplies, among others.

The fire caused around P10 million worth of damage and printers and other equipment used to manufacture counterfeit documents may be included in the estimate, a fire inspector told The STAR.

Firefighters put out the fire before 4 p.m. Friday, less than seven hours after it started. 

Investigators said a leak from an 11-kilo gas tank caused the fire, which started in the room rented by Ronnie Llanere at a four-story house owned by Alex Cayetano. The entire house was made of wood and other light materials.

Llanere was boiling water for his coffee when the gas leaked from the tank. Flames spread from the tank to the room’s ceiling and the rest of the house.

Fire investigators are still considering arson as the cause of the fire and are still looking for witnesses. 

At least 1,000 families were left homeless by the fire.  

ACIRC ALEX CAYETANO BECKY BUSINESS DOCUMENTS FIRE FORGERS LLANERE QUEZON BOULEVARD AND RECTO AVENUE RECTO AVENUE RONNIE LLANERE
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with