PNP wants property owners liable for tenants’ crimes

Mark Ernest Villeza - The Philippine Star
PNP wants property owners liable for tenants� crimes
Philippine National Police (PNP) on January 24, 2024.
STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — There is a need for property owners, particularly those who lease out units in condominiums and subdivisions, to be held liable for their tenants’ illegal activities, the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) said yesterday.

In an interview over dzBB, PNP-ACG cyber response unit chief Col. Jay Guillermo highlighted the challenges faced by law enforcement when investigating illegal activities in rented spaces, particularly those involving love scams and cybercrimes.

He noted that some criminal groups set up large-scale operations similar to call centers in condominiums.

“The ones that the PNP raided are big. This is where we see the setup of the love scam or investment scam is like they are in a call center,” Guillermo said.

He stressed the importance of property owners, administrators and security personnel cooperating in order to facilitate investigation.

Guillermo acknowledged the reluctance of property owners to cooperate with law enforcement, citing their fear of potential legal implications.

He noted that tenants in large condominiums are mostly foreigners, “so the difficulty for us in law enforcement is gaining the cooperation of the owners. Sometimes when we investigate, it’s hard for us to get in.”

Guillermo said search warrants become necessary in such cases, but it is difficult to obtain these.

He argued that property owners should be the first to know if their tenants are engaging in illegal activities, as he stressed the importance of conducting background checks on potential tenants.

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