MANILA - A Navy officer, dropped from the roster of the Presidential Security Group following his arrest for using a fake automated teller machine (ATM) card in Makati on Feb. 22, may be a victim himself.
According to sources, Ltjg. Raphael Marcial – a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 2008 – was reportedly in dire need of money when a member of a card-cloning syndicate approached him and asked him to withdraw money using cloned ATM cards.
Ten cloned ATM cards, as well as blank ATM cards and tools such as an ATM scanner, were confiscated from him when he was arrested.
“There was information that he (Marcial) was forced to be a part of the illegal activity because he needs money. Investigators, both from the police and the military, are trying to get more information from him,” a source said.
Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG), refused to comment on the investigation involving Marcial and his possible link to a syndicate engaged in cloning ATM cards.
“Let’s wait for the outcome of the investigation. We would inform the public as soon as we have completed the investigation,” Sosa told The STAR.
Reports had it that Marcial was arrested at an Eastwest Bank branch on Pasong Tamo Extension in Makati while using a cloned ATM card.
Police officers were patrolling the area when they saw a motorcycle without a license plate parked in front of the bank’s ATM booth. They immediately reported what they saw to the branch’s security personnel.
It was later revealed that the bank’s security personnel were monitoring the suspect. The security personnel of other banks in the area were also informed about the suspect’s activities.
Marcial has been charged with violating Republic Act 8484, the access devices regulation law.