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Mayor orders crackdown on fake cigarettes

SAN ANTONIO, Nueva Ecija – Mayor Arvin C. Salonga has ordered a crackdown on the sale of illegal cigarettes amid the proliferation of contraband cigarettes named “New Moon” in this first class municipality.

Salonga directed the local police led by Major Rammel Ebarle and the market administrator to conduct intensified operations targetting unscrupulous traders and vendors selling counterfeit cigarettes in the barangays and in the public market.

Kakasuhan ko ang sinumang mahuli nagbebenta ng pekeng sigarilyo na ito tulad ng New Moon at iba pa,” the mayor said.

Salonga’s stern warning came after market administrator Eusebio Juliano and the police on Wednesday conducted a random inspection of the various stalls in the public market and an information drive about an ongoing crackdown on the illegal cigarettes trade.

A day after the operation, Eusebio’s men caught two market stalls selling fake New Moon cigarettes to poseur-buyers.

Eusebio identified the two stalls as Daisy Isaga’s Pasalubong, Stall No. 14, and Olile’s Pasalubong, Balot atbp, Stall No. 12.

The police also earlier arrested a woman, identified as Mary Grace Enriquez, 25, of Bgy. San Francisco, and a minor for transporting 12 reams of counterfeit New Moon cigarettes on Wednesday.

The woman, who was driving a tricycle with the minor as passenger, evaded a police checkpoint when flagged down, prompting lawmen to chase them until they were cornered and arrested.