Convict caught posing as Marcos spokesman

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
Convict caught posing as Marcos spokesman
Suspect identified as Ryan Ace Castillejo alias Jose Villafuerte/Kiko who posed as Atty. Vic Rodriguez, spokesman of presumptive president Bongbong Marcos, in soliciting money using fake social media account.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has collared the person behind the fake Facebook account of lawyer Vic Rodriguez, spokesman of presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., that solicited money online.

The suspect – identified as Ryan Ace Castillejo, alias Jose Villafuerte and Kiko –  was caught last Monday afternoon inside New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, where he was already committed for qualified theft.

“He is the person responsible for spreading false messages using my fake Facebook/Messenger account soliciting money for president-elect Bongbong’s ‘victory party,’” Rodriguez told The STAR.

The NBI special action unit reported that a mobile phone seized from the suspect proved that he owned the fake FB account using the name of Rodriguez, and also of other personalities, including Marcos’ wife, lawyer Liza Araneta-Marcos.

NBI agents also reported that, based on the cell phone and a list of names confiscated from Castillejo, the suspect also reportedly posed as Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., Bureau of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto and individuals identified only as “Zandro” and “Binay.”

The NBI said it would coordinate with the Bureau of Corrections to determine how the suspect was able to get hold of a mobile phone and commit the crime while in prison.

The bureau said the items seized from Castillejo will be examined further to establish the identities of the suspect’s accomplices and the “extent of his fraudulent transactions.”

He faces charges of violating Republic Act 10175, the anti-cybercrime law.

No Amanpulo party

Meanwhile, Rodriguez branded as “fake news” claims that they held a victory party at the luxurious Amanpulo island resort in Palawan.

The claim trended on social media platforms on Monday.

“That claim is unfair and malicious. It is just a fabrication by irresponsible netizens in their social media accounts,” he stressed in an interview.

Rodriguez earlier announced that there would be a UniTeam victory party, but has not revealed any details yet as Marcos and his running mate, presumptive vice president Sara Duterte, have yet to be officially proclaimed as winners in the May 9 polls. - Evelyn Macairan, Ralph Edwin Villanueva


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