ASIDE from illegal possession of firearms, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 will file another case against a man who posed as a licensed mechanical engineer and a captain in the army reserve.
NBI 7 Director Renan Oliva said they will charge suspect Jefferson Higoy with falsification of public documents and usurpation of authority after his arrest at Saekyung Village in Barangay Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City on Friday, July 2, 2021.
Seized from his possession were three unlicensed .45 pistols, an unlicensed 5.56 rifle, an army uniform, cap, badge and several identification cards believed to be fake, among others.
Oliva said they found out that the documents Higoy presented were bogus after they coordinated with the 7th Regional Community Defense Group (RCDG), which is a line unit of the Army Reserve Command (Arescom).
The Arescom Reservist Personnel Management Center doesn’t have a Capt. Jefferson Higoy in its database.
However, Higoy has a record that he enlisted as an army reservist with the 701st Cebu Community Defense Center on Nov. 25, 2020. He carries a rank of sergeant.
But when his documents were examined, it was discovered that the requirement of Reserve Officer Training Corps certification that he submitted was also a fake.
Higoy also claims to be a mechanical engineer but his certification from the Professional Regulation Commission is also believed to be fake.
“So, he is not a captain but a sergeant. But it was later discovered that the certification that he gave in his application for reservist in the Philippine Army was fake. He said he was a mechanical engineer but in truth, he is not. So he misled in his application. There was malice in submitting these documents claiming to be such when in truth, he was not. He was misleading the Philippine Army when he gave his application,” Oliva said.
Col. Melisan Reymund Reicado, RCDG group commander, said they don’t know of any abuses that the suspect conducted save for wearing the uniform of an army reservist and carrying firearms while off-duty.
“What Higoy did was to tarnish the image of the organization, considering that we have already disowned all his legal activities and, as you can see, he’s a fake. There have been reservists in the past who took advantage of their position, but they’ve all been booted out… The recent arrest of Higoy who introduced himself as a reservist is fully supported by the Army Reserve Command so the Philippine Army and the Army command do not and will not tolerate erring reservist personnel and extend full support to the relevant law enforcement agencies for the further conduct of investigation and prosecution,” Reicado said in a mix of Tagalog and English.
Oliva said the firearms seized from Higoy will undergo a ballistic examination to determine if these have been used in any illegal activities.
The NBI 7 director called on the public to report to authorities anyone posing as a member of the military, police or any other profession who abuse their power. (ANV / PJB)