MANILA, Philippines—Police seized 14 signal jamming devices and arrested a store owner and his three employees selling them in Caloocan City, Philippine National Police chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said Friday.
The arrests came after the PNP warned the public of the legal repercussions of possessing and using signal jammers, especially on the day of the midterm elections next month.
Cerbo identified the arrested suspects as Giovanni Penaloza Dee Tan, owner of Zellnor International Merchandising and Brand Philippine.Com Inc., and his three employees identified as Matthew Kagalingan Mercado, Rommel Buergo Ogo, and Betsayda Legaspina Bueda.
The suspects were arrested in an entrapment operation conducted by the PNP’s Anti-Cybercrime Group at 79 and 84, 4th Avenue, Grace Park, Caloocan City after authorities recieved information the suspects were selling signal jammers online.
“The informant was able to communicate through the given cellular phone number by the seller posted on a website called www.sulit.com.,” Cerbo said.
As a result of the operation, 14 units of signal jamming devices were confiscated, he said.
Authorities earlier warned that using signal jammers during the May 13 elections is a criminal offense and punishable with at least eight years of imprisonment.
Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the use of signal jammers near polling centers could “delay” the transmission of vote returns.
“We want to make sure that the credibility of the elections is [preserved], and this interference in the transmission will definitely affect the credibility. So, we want to ensure that transmission [of the results] will not be affected,” Brillantes said, but stressed that contingency plans are already in place if delays arise during the transmission process.