MANILA–The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday filed a complaint before Department of Justice against the perpetrators behind the ‘rent-tangay’ modus operandi which has victimized car owners from different parts of the country.
The NBI filed charges of syndicated estafa, large scale syndicated estafa and carnapping against Rafaela Anunciacion, Anastacia Cauyan, Eliseo Cortez, Sabina Torrea and Spouses Bienvenido Cruz and Marilou Vera Cruz.
In its complaint affidavit, NBI stated that Anunciacion led the group to the scheme to defraud the car owners by getting money from them.
“From the forgoing, it can be seen that Anunciacion and her associates personally knew of the scheme because the same was actually designed by them. This would also prove that Anunciacion et al deliberately defrauded not only car owners but also investors who unknown to them was infusing money in Anunciacion’s schemes. The above sequence of events clearly demonstrates the criminal intent of all subjects herein to deprive car owners of their vehicles and defraud investors of their hard earned money amounting to millions of pesos,” the document reads.
The complaint was signed by Atty. Joselito R. Amon, Division Chief of the Legal Service of the NBI and was approved by Atty. Leo Edwin D. Leuterio, Deputy Director of the Legal Service.
This is the second case filed against the respondents after the Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group filed the case.
The DOJ investigating panel chaired by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Rosanne Balauag earlier said that they will be consolidated the complaint together with PNP.
The Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group 4-A said 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.
Balauag is the head of the DOJ panel while the nine other members of the task force are SASP Rex Gingoyon; Assistant State Prosecutors Aristotle Reyes, Rodan Parrocha, Bryan Jacinto Cacha Jr., Anna Noreen Devanadera and Jovyanne Escaño-Santamaria; and Assistant Prosecution Attorneys Wendell Bendoval, Joan Garcia and Marc Eico Tariga.
Last March 27, Anunciacion, submitted her counter affidavit on the continuation of the preliminary investigation on the complaints against the scheme.
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, 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.