Fake gold bar ‘dealers’ fall
Ma. Fatima R. Secuya/RHM (The Freeman) - October 21, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Three men, including a barangay captain’s former bodyguard, were arrested by the police for possession of a fake gold bar they allegedly intended to sell to someone in Manila.

Their activity was discovered after the management of a pension house they were staying in sought the police’s help because they allegedly failed to pay their rent.

Superintendent Romeo Santander, Cebu City Police Office Intelligence Branch chief, identified them as Romeo Malisi, 52, of Barangay Babag, Cebu City and Edgar Sab-Puan, 43, and Robert Payan, 44, both of Davao Del Sur.

Santander said that around 9:45 p.m. last Tuesday, they received a call from the pension house on three customers who failed to pay their rent after three days of stay.

Santander and his men responded to the complaint and saw a “gold bar” and related items and documents inside the room used by the three men, who were allegedly described as “suspicious.”

The police official said they immediately suspected the supposed gold bar as fake, having already confiscated phony gold bars in the past.

Santander also recognized Malisi, whom he knew was a bodyguard of Babag, Cebu City Barangay Captain Cesar Dolorito, who survived an attempt on his life last March.

In that incident, three guns-for-hire confronted Malisi because they thought he was Dolorito as they both wore the same shirt color.

The men’s gun, however, did not immediately fire, giving Dolorito’s bodyguards to open fire on them. Two of the three men, including one who was hit, were captured while the third man managed to escape.

Santander said he called Dolorito, who told him that Malisi was no longer under his employ due to “suspicious” activities.

“Di man ko ganahan ana mao nga gibuhian na lang gyud nako siya,” said Dolorito.

In a separate interview, Malisi admitted the gold bar was fake and that they were about to sell it to someone from Manila.

He said that if the gold bar, which weighed 4.2 grams, was genuine, it would be worth P12 million. They were selling the fake bar for P1 million to entice prospective buyers.

He said, though, that most of those who buy fake gold bars are allegedly also swindlers who would also sell them to others.

“Katong among customer, naa pa pud sa Manila. Sige pa pud og pangilad sa iyang buyers nga naa pud sa ibang bansa. Ana ra gud. Isig pangilad ra man gud. At least no life involved, kaliwaan lang ba,” said Malisi.

He said they are just one year or are “new” to the scheme and have not victimized anyone yet.

Santander, though, doubted this encouraged those who managed to buy fake gold bars to come to their office to possibly identify the three men. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BARANGAY BABAG CEBU CITY AND EDGAR SAB-PUAN CEBU CITY BARANGAY CAPTAIN CESAR DOLORITO CEBU CITY POLICE OFFICE INTELLIGENCE BRANCH DAVAO DEL SUR DOLORITO GOLD MALISI ROBERT PAYAN SANTANDER
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