After being convicted in a local court for allegedly belonging to a crime group named “Kuratong Baleleng,” the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is now seeking the forfeiture of convicted suspect Rico Bacon’s assets, and 19 properties.
Bacon, together with his wife Mary Ann and brother-in-law Virgilio Toledo, was arrested on Oct. 9, 2019. A small haul of “shabu” estimated to value P270,000, a pistol, ammunition, and a hand grenade, were also seized.
Bacon’s two-story house in Barangay Balua in Cagayan de Oro City has been frozen as ordered by the Court of Appeals based on the petition filed by the Northern Mindanao PDEA.
On April 23, 2019 Bacon was convicted but the cases of his wife and Toledo, were undecided by the court.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) revealed to Wilkins Villanueva, PDEA director general, that Bacon has declared a monthly income of only P15,000, yet he and his wife owned at least 19 real estate properties, including houses in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental and condominium unit in Metro Manila.
PDEA and AMLC also discovered that Bacon owns a construction company which had declared a monthly income of only 15,000 but he had bank transactions and property ownership in hundreds of millions of pesos, said Arturo Baculi Jr., AMLC financial investigator.
“His income was not commensurate. You cannot have a house this big with a P15,000 monthly income,” he said.
After implementing the freeze order, Baculi said the AMLC will file a civil forfeiture case as basis for the issuance of a preservation order that will give the government the authority to take hold of the property so Bacon cannot dispose of it.
Villanueva said that Bacon was allegedly a high-level member of the Ozamiz City-based “Kuratong Baleleng” group reported to have been engaged in drug dealing and other criminal activities.
Photo: Bombo Radyo