NBI collars fake voter ID makers in Iligan City

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ILIGAN CITY–The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) presented Monday (June 22) two arrested individuals for allegedly producing and selling online spurious voter identification cards (ID) issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Lawyer Abdul Jamal Dimaporo, head of NBI Iligan District Office, said the operation stemmed from the complaint-letter of Atty. Joseph Hamilton Cuevas, provincial election supervisor of Lanao del Norte, requesting the NBI to investigate a Facebook user allegedly engaged in selling voter’s ID.

After two weeks of surveillance, Dimaporo said an entrapment operation inside a mall here on Friday (June 19) led to the arrest of Sittie Ainah Hadj Nasser, 29, a resident of Marawi City.

“We conducted online and physical surveillance. At first, we found difficulties to be accepted by her account but we used various ways until we finally penetrated and had a deal with her,” the NBI official said.

Dimaporo said Nasser was about to ship 13 voter’s IDs to her costumers in Luzon when the entrapment occurred.

On the same day, acting on the information obtained from Nasser, NBI agents also arrested in an entrapment operation Rajiv Cali, 30, also a resident of Marawi City.

Dimaporo said Cali was Nasser’s “supplier” of the fake IDs. He was arrested at a small stall in Barangay Bangon, Marawi City, while allegedly in the act of printing tampered government IDs.

Dimaporo said Cali yielded “genuine” voter’s IDs that had the proper bar codes and holograms. However, he said the personal details such as names, addresses, birthdates, and precinct numbers had been tampered with.

The signatory of the fake IDs was former Comelec Commissioner Sixto Brillantes.

“Actually, the Comelec said it stopped the issuance of this kind of ID because it waited for the One ID System. At the same time, Sixto Brillantes is no longer the Comelec commissioner,” Dimaporo said.

According to Dimaporo, the pair sold each ID for PHP1,500, shipping fee included. The suspects would then split the profit, he added.

Lawyer Allan Kadon, the provincial election supervisor of Lanao del Sur, said they will also investigate how the arrested suspects managed to acquire legitimate Comelec IDs.

Nasser and Cali are facing charges for violation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act and Data Privacy Act, as well as estafa under the Revised Penal Code.

Dimaporo said they will also file charges against the establishment where Cali manufactured the fake Comelec IDs. (PNA)

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