Quezon City Fire Catches Two Fake Fire Safety Inspectors

Quezon City fire investigators team up with Quezon City Police in apprehending fake fire safety inspectors at Barangay Talipapa, Quezon City, October 15. Public warning against fake firefighters was issued following the arrest of two civilians in Quezon City who posed as personnel of Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

The suspects, Manuelito Santos, 34, and his accused accomplice, Melvin Quizada, 45, were arrested at a restaurant along Mindanao Ave in an operation conducted by Quezon City Fire District and Quezon City Police Station 3 on Friday.

Around 11am Fire Officer 3 Giovanni Tuazon received a call from the restaurant owner reporting two suspicious men who were conducting fire safety inspection at the said establishment. According to the resto owner, Santos, who was wearing orange tactical pants, introduced himself as FO1 Eric M Arulfo of QCFD with (fake) identification card. His cohort, Quizada, wearing black clothes was on Yamaha Nmax with a certain plate number. Santos said that they were there to refill and recondition their fire extinguishers, as well, demanding Php5,000 from the resto owner to avoid penalty and issuance of Notice of Comply. He gave the latter until 3pm to prepare the money.

Upon the order of SSUPT Gary R Alto, Quezon City Fire Director, the team of fire investigators headed by INSP Rowelle L Yarcia, together with the police authorities, immediately responded. Around 3pm, they saw Santos and Quizada, as described by the resto owner during the phone call. PNP authorities immediately acted and blocked the escape route of Santos and Quizada and successfully arrested the suspects with the assistance of Quezon City Fire District (QCFD). Among the recovered items from the suspects are two fake BFP IDs (with the suspects photos but bearing names not theirs) falsified inspection order, black ball cap with fire and rescue logo, and one red fire extinguisher (dry chemical).
QCFD has been receiving numerous complaints regarding the suspects’ activities around the city. The targets of their modus are newly opened shops or restaurants that lacked permits or or restaurants that lack permits or establishments with allegedly expired Fire Safety Inspection Certificates (FSICs).
Victims with the same modus have already been reported to the BFP. Suspects have already undergone inquest proceedings for charges of robbery, extortion, usurpation of authority, falsification of documents, and the use of motorcycles in the commission of crimes. Santos and Quizada are temporarily detained.