House probe into use of rented properties by crime syndicates sought

The Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs is calling
for a joint congressional inquiry on the prevalent scheme of crime
syndicates to use rented properties as hideouts or bases of their
operations.

In House Resolution 2037, Rep. Danilo Ramon “Dan” Fernandez (1st
District, Laguna) said the dangerous drugs panel should probe the
matter together with the House Committee on Public Order and Security
to determine the remedial actions that must be taken by the
authorities to put an end to such a scheme.

Fernandez sought the inquiry after authorities busted crime syndicates
that were found to be operating from rented houses, which were mostly
located inside the exclusive and reclusive subdivisions like the Ayala
Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City.

Fernandez cited the raid conducted by authorities on January 7, 2012
in a resort-type compound in a one-hectare property inside the Ayala
Alabang Village.

The raid resulted in the arrest of five Chinese nationals found
operating a medium-size shabu laboratory capable of producing at least
ten kilos of the prohibited substance in just two days.

The Chinese nationals reportedly rented the compound from Fuerte
Holdings, Inc., with the lease contract signed by a certain Gloria
Cahulogan and one of the arrested suspects.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Jose
Gutierrez Jr. has said PDEA’s legal team was not discounting the
possibility of filing charges against Fuerte Holdings Inc.

“The firm can’t say they just let the suspects do what they wanted.
There should be a level of responsibility on the part of the owner,”
Fernandez quoted Gutierrez as saying.

Fernandez also noted that the Dominguez carnapping syndicate was also
found to be holed in an apartment at Greenville Subdivision, Barangay
San Jose in San Fernando City.

Another is the Alvin Flores group found based in a rented house in
Rocka Village in Bgy. Tabang Paridel, Bulacan, Fernandez said. The
group is believed to be responsible for the series of robberies in
Metro Manila, one of which is the Greenbelt 5 Rolex Watch Store heist.

On February 4, 2011, police raided a suspected drug laboratory at No.
1 Silver Town Homes in Potrero Village, Malabon, which yielded some
P500-million worth of shabu, Fernandez said.

In January 2010, three Chinese nationals were arrested in a raid on a
rented house in Concha Drive, BF Homes, Parañaque, Fernandez added.

Fernandez also cited a police search sometime in July 2007 in the
upscale Honor’s Apartment in San Antonio, Biñan, Laguna, which
resulted in the arrest of Taiwanese drug dealer Tony Tan Go and the
seizure of one ton of ingredients for making shabu worth P4-billion.

Follow up operations led authorities to a warehouse that Go rented at
the Amante Subdivision, Purok 5, Barangay Nueva, where more chemicals
and other ingredients used to produce shabu were seized.

“Many more similar incidents have happened. We want these illegal
operations stopped,” Fernandez said.

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