Not just three, but four malls were raided by joint operatives of the CIDG-Negros, national Optical Media Board and the Bacolod City Police Office on Wednesday for alleged sale of pirated video discs, Chief Insp. Cesar Paday-os said yesterday.
Paday-os, who is the head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Negros Occidental, said more malls and business establishments in Negros Occidental are under surveillance as some of their tenants are selling pirated video discs.
Successive raids were conducted at the 888 Chinatown Square mall at Gatuslao Street, Gaisano City, Era and the Plazamart mall at Araneta Street and they yielded about 94,800 pirated video discs with an estimated market value of P14.22 million, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
Paday-os also said they are having a hard time in filing the charges as they do not have no names of the stall owners where the pirated video discs were confiscated.
CIDG is planning to write the owners of the malls they had raided and ask them to provide the names of the owners of the stalls where the pirated video discs were seized.
Agent Manuel Mangubat, chief of the OMB Investigation and Operations Division, saidthat the sale of pirated VCDs and CDs is a blatant violation of Section 19 of Republic Act 9239 or the Optical Media Board Act of 2003, and entails imprisonment of at least three years but not more than six years, and a fine of not less than P500, 000 but not exceeding P1.5 million at the discretion of the court.
Mangubat also stressed that under the executive order signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo mall owners also have criminal liabilities.
Meanwhile, aside from the campaign against pirated video discs, CIDG-Negros Occidental is also launching an intensified drive against fake branded goods being sold in business establishments in Bacolod.
Paday-os said they will monitor some establishments allegedly selling fake goods that is considered a infringement, which is a criminal act under the law.*APN