The Department of Justice on Friday, April 26, placed under inquest proceedings four persons who were arrested in Caloocan City on Thursday night for selling signal jammers.
The Comelec has earlier declared that selling signal jammers is illegal because these devices may be used to disrupt the transmission of the results of the coming May 13 elections.
Those arrested by the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group and summoned by the DOJ were Giovanni Dee-Tan, manager of a hardware store; Bethsayda Buena, Matthew Mercado, and Rommel Ogo.
They were charged with violations of Republic Act No. 8792 or E-Commerce Law and RA No. 1937 or Tariff and Customs Code, which are both bailable offenses.
The complainants were the arresting group and the National Telecommunications Commission.
The PNP-ACG agents posed as buyers using marked money amounting to P34,000 for two signal jammers, at P17,000 each. Each device has the capacity of jamming signal at a radius of up to 20 meters.
The operation resulted in the seizure of the two items, plus 12 “portable” signal jammers.
The lower-range ones may jam signal at a radius of up to 12 to 15 meters.
The respondents waived their right to a preliminary investigation. The case is up now for resolution by DOJ state prosecutor Stephanie Maderazo who conducted the inquest proceedings.
Michael Cris Berania, counsel for the accused, said his clients opted not to file a counter-affidavit with the DOJ and will instead be ready to face trial in court. — Perfecto Raymundo, PNA