Friday, January 13, 2017

OMB’s 'Oplan Pokemon' yields Php21-M pirated CDs, VCDs
By Norman B. Tamar

MASBATE CITY, Jan. 12 (PNA) -- Agents of the Optical Media Board (OMB), along with the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) of the Philippine National Police, confiscated Php21-million worth of pirated CDs and VCDs from two store owners in the old market in this city on Thursday afternoon (Jan. 12) in what could be the second biggest operation of the agency since last year.

According to OMB Chairman Anselmo Adriano, the inspection, dubbed “Oplan Pokemon,” seized 150 sacks of assorted replicated movies in DVD-9 format and in compact discs at the market in Barangay Pating, Masbate City at 12:30 p.m.

“They found the facility in operation, selling replicated movie compact discs without the necessary permits,” he said.

Adriano said the OMB agents were led by Joseph Arnaldo while the SWAT was led by Inspector Rolando Guzman of the Masbate Provincial Police Office.

Arnaldo said their operation in Masbate “could be the second biggest operation,” next to that in Naga City last year, where they confiscated around 240 sacks of pirated CDs and VCDs valued at Php 33 million.

According to Guzman "Oplan Pokemon" was the first raid operation for Masbate province this year.

The team identified one of the store owners as Saranggani Mangandang Bantayao while the other store owner has yet to be named.

Adriano said the violators will face charges for violation of Republic Act 9239 and meted with fines from Php300,000 to Php1.5 million or six years imprisonment.

He said OMB is looking forward to amend RA 9239 so violators will face tougher penalties.

Adriano warned the public not to patronize pirated CDs and VCDs as violators will be charged accordingly.

He said the confiscated items will be shipped for destruction to OMB’s headquarters in Manila at No. 35 Scout Limbaga St. Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City. (PNA) LAP/GVR/NBT/CBD/RSM