Google map of Magpet, North Cotabato

COTABATO CITY – Police authorities and village officials in Magpet, North Cotabato have warned the public Tuesday against counterfeit money being circulated by unscrupulous individuals in the area.

This was after a man from Sultan Kudarat province used fake money in his transaction in the villages of Noa, Bagumbayan, and Basak in Magpet town.

Chairman Paterno Bansag of Barangay Noa said two persons showed up to his office Monday afternoon complaining they were duped by a man who used fake PHP1,000 bills.

"Fortunately, the suspect was nabbed as he also reportedly used fake money in other nearby villages," the village official said in an interview by reporters Tuesday.

Bansag identified the suspect as Renny Arcoza Gonzales, 54, of Barangay Ala, Esperanza, Sultan, Kudarat.

Police said Gonzales first used fake bills in paying goods he bought from a store owned by Dina Rose Moreno, 37, of Barangay Bagumbayan.

It was already late when she realized the bill was fake and Gonzales was long gone.

In the nearby village of Basak, Gonzales paid for the fuel he brought from Monaliza Quiño, 40, who owns a roadside “takal” (retail) gasoline station.

When she realized the suspect used a fake bill, she chased him until they reached Barangay Noa where the villagers helped in preventing Gonzales from fleeing.

Village officials and police found more than PHP5,000 fake P1,000 bills from the suspect.

Gonzales is now detained at Magpet detention facility facing charges for illegal possession and use of false treasury or banknotes and other instruments of credit. (PNA)