Some P42 million worth of pirated DVDs and CDs were confiscated in various stalls within the Baguio central business district during a surprise raid by the Optical Media Board and National Bureau of Investigation.
OMB Chair and actor Ronnie Ricketts led the raids at the Maharlika Livelihood Complex and Session Road.
OMB is a member of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team or PAPT.
The raid was generally peaceful as no vendor or stall owners resisted or questioned the legality of the raid while some spectators took the opportunity to have photographs with the action star-turned OMB chief.
Rickets explained to the vendors and stall owners why the government is doing its best to crackdown on the sale of pirated items.
The confiscated contrabands were eventually crushed in front of the Baguio city hall Friday morning in the presence of Mayor Mauricio Domogan, NBI Regional Director Constantino Joson, and Ricketts.
Domogan hailed the joint efforts of OMB and NBI, saying that the raid will serve as a warning to people engaged in the illegal activity.
It was in 2010 when Ricketts also led the confiscation of more than P16M worth of pirated DVDs and CDs during a surprise inspection within the city’s CBD.
During the raid, the owners were given 15 days to comply with OMB regulations or face criminal and administrative charges for violation of Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and Republic Act 9239 or the Optical Media Act.
OMB has warned the public that software piracy is a serious crime that is tantamount to fraud and theft. Violators could end up in jail for up to nine years and will be made to pay a fine of up to P1.5M.
At least 46.5 percent of sales in the country’s entertainment industry come from pirated media.
In fact, even the software industry in the country lost almost P45 billion from 2000 to 2002 due to piracy.
The United States recently removed the Philippines from its watchlist on intellectual property rights violations.