EX-DILG official Martin Diño, 6 others charged for estafa
Former Interior and Local Govertnment undersecretary Martin Diño and six others are facing estafa and other charges in Bataan Prosecutor’s Office in Balanga City, and complaint of deregistration at the Securities and Exchange Commission for recruiting members with fee 101 Balangay Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA), Inc., a group built by Diño sans SEC registration.
The SEC case was filed 17 January 2022, while criminal case estafa in Balanga City, Bataan was lodged 13 January 2022 against Diño and other cohorts identified as Renante Nase, Agustin Soria, Jr., Laurence Nase, Reniel Nase, Jerry Delos Santos, and Christine Lingat.
Investigation revealed that 101 Balangay PCGA, Inc. registered with the SEC without the PCG’s authority on 04 August 2022, according to PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo.
The PCG discovered the unauthorized registration when it received intelligence reports that a group representing itself as 101ST BALANGAY PCGA, INC. was recruiting and charging fees to join their organization.
Reports also stated that the 101st Balangay PCGA, Inc. conducted induction ceremonies and wore uniforms, insignia, and ranks – suggesting to the public that they were part of the PCG and PCGA.
The 101 Balangay PCGA, Inc. also misrepresented that PCG’s senior officers, including PCG Commandant, CG Admiral Artemio M Abu, himself, authorized their activities.
The PCG warns the public that any unauthorized use of the Department of Transportation (DOTr)’s, PCG’s, or PCGA’s names, uniforms, logos, and insignias is a criminal offense under the Revised Penal Code.
Moreover, the unauthorized collection of fees for membership in the PCG or PCGA under pretenses constitutes ESTAFA, a crime punishable by up to life imprisonment, if committed on a large scale.
Meanwhile, Balilo said on 13 January 2023, the PCG Station Bataan has filed cases of estafa, usurpation of authority, and unlawful use of logo and insignias against the 101st Balangay PCGA, Inc. at the Bataan Prosecutor’s Office in Balanga City.
Station Commander Jonathan Serote said approximately 500 Bataan residents were recruited by the 101st Balangay PCGA, Inc. and 50 of them accompanied the PCG Station Bataan during the filing of the said cases.
According to the Coast Guard Legal Service Commander, CG Captain Donette Dolina, they will continue to pursue legal measures until all unauthorized activities cease, and those who caused these violations are apprehended, penalized, and placed behind bars.
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