MANILA–One of the alleged masterminds behind the so-called “rent-tangay” scam which has victimized car owners from different parts of the country on Monday appeared before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the continuation of the preliminary investigation on the complaints against the scheme.
The suspect, Rafaela Anunciacion, submitted her counter affidavit on the investigating DOJ panel chaired by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Rosanne Balauag who handled the complaint filed by Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group 4-A several sets of victims of the scam from Bulacan, Laguna, Angeles City, Batangas and Nueva Ecija filed the charges of syndicated estafa under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code and Presidential Decree 1689.
The other members of the panel are Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Rex Gingoyon, Assistant State Prosecutors Aristotle Reyes, Rodan Parrocha, Bryan Jacinto Cacha Jr., Anna Noreen Devanadera and Jovyanne Escaño-Santamari, and Assistant Prosecution Attorneys Wendell Bendoval, Joan Garcia and Marc Eico Tariga.
Anunciacion was arrested last March 2 by members of the Regional Highway Patrol Unit 4-A’s Special Operations Team by virtue of a warrant for estafa issued by Judge Francisco Pano of the San Pedro, Laguna Regional Trial Court Branch 93.
In her counter-affidavit, Anunciacion alleged that the complainants were only forced to file criminal charges against her by the Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group through a threat that they would no longer recover their vehicles.
But when the car owners already recovered their vehicles, they have withdrawn their charges against Anunciacion, which she claimed, noting that she did not commit the alleged crimes.
During the hearing some of the complainants withdrew their complaints after recovering their vehicles from Anunciacion.
Aside from Anunciacion, another respondent Anastacia Cauyan also submitted her counter-affidavit and raised the same issue.
The DOJ set the next hearing on Friday at 10 a.m. for filing of counter-affidavit of the other respondents namely Tychicus Nambia, Sabina Torrea, Eliseo Cortez, Eleanor Constatino, Marilou Cruz, Jhennelyn Berroya, Ana Borlon and Lea Rosales.
Nambio, who also in police custody in Laguna for estafa.
Under the “rent-tangay” scheme, authorities said the suspects would convince car owners to become business associates in a rent-a-car service and have their cars rented for a hefty profit.
At first, the car owners will get paid but, unknowingly, in the end their vehicles will be pawned to other people and the suspects will disappear, making the victims unable to get their rented vehicles back.
Last March 15, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II led the turnover of the six cars recovered from the ‘rent-tangay’ scheme to its rightful owners.