Philippine Coast Guard

Complaints filed vs ex-DILG exec Diño, 6 others for misrepresenting PCG

Sofia Tomacruz
Complaints filed vs ex-DILG exec Diño, 6 others for misrepresenting PCG

COMPLAINT. The Philippine Coast Guard files a complaint against former DILG undersecretary Martin Diño and six others who incorporated a company misrepresenting the agency.

PCG Photo

The Philippine Coast Guard discovers that Martin Diño and six other people are behind a bogus PCG Auxiliary balangay that claimed to be sanctioned by the agency

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard has filed at least two complaints against former interior undersecretary Martin Diño and six other individuals for forming an unauthorized PCG Auxiliary (PCGA) balangay to solicit funds from communities in Bataan.

The PCG said on Thursday, January 19, that an investigation it conducted found that Diño was among the incorporators of the “101ST Balangay PCGA, Incorporated” registered with the Securities Exchange Commission in August 2022, without authorization from the PCG.

A complaint for de-registration was since been filed against the group at the SEC, the PCG said.

The PCG said it learned about the unauthorized registration upon receiving intelligence reports that a group in Bataan had been claiming to represent the PCG to recruit people and charge fees for membership in their organization.

Coast Guard Spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilo said the group also used the PCG’s insignia, uniforms, and ranks to carry out an induction ceremony. Apart from this, the PCG said Diño’s group also falsely claimed that senior PCG officials, including Commandant Artemio Abu, sanctioned its activities.

The groups’ actions, Balilo said, suggested to the public that it was a legitimate part of the PCG and PCGA.

“They have to respect the PCG as an armed organization and preserve the sanctity of wearing the uniform,” he said.

Along with Diño, the PCG named the other incorporators of the company as Renante Nase, Agustin Soria Jr., Laurence Nase, Reniel Nase, Jerry delos Santos, and Christine Lingat.

Diño, a self-styled anti-drugs, anti-corruption crusader and supporter of former president Rodrigo Duterte, was appointed to the DILG in 2018.

It was also Diño who previously filed his candidacy for president during the 2016 elections, only for him to withdraw and nominate Duterte as the substitute standard-bearer of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.

Estafa complaint

Aside from a complaint filed with the SEC, the PCG also filed cases of “estafa, usurpation of authority, and unlawful use of logo and insignias” against Diño and his group at the Bataan Provincial Prosecutor’s office in Balanga City.

The PCG’s station in Bataan said the group managed to recruit some 500 residents, 50 them joining the PCG in filing the complaint.

Under the Revised Penal Code, unauthorized use of the PCG or PCGA’s names, uniforms, logos, and insignias is a criminal offense.

The PCG said it warned Diño and the company’s other incorporators that it get the help of the police to arrest them if they continued to misrepresent the PCG and solicit funds from the public.

“They have been warned accordingly,” Balilo said. – Rappler.com

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.