Two Korean restaurants were targets of a budol-budol gang Thursday after pranksters ordered thousands worth of food and drinks allegedly upon instruction of City Vice Mayor Alan Gel Cordova. The vice mayor said later he never made such orders.
Cordova cannot understand why he seems to be the favourite fall guy of scammers. Is it because he is one with guts who raises valid public issues and some people might want to embarrass him?
Cordova is requesting the public to first verify and validate before going through with a transaction. If there is no official confirmation, drop the order.
He requested the public information office under Dems Demecillo to publicly warn establishments of the modus operandi that when orders are made through cellphone, establishments should already coution themselves and then make verifications to be sure. The city tourism office is expected to advise the establishments to be cautious in receiving orders.
First to be victimized is the Hankki restaurant located in downtown Dumaguete which received orders for meals good for 20 persons using the name of Vice Mayor Cordova. The same caller called back using the same cellphone number to inquire what available liquor they have in the restaurant and in the absence of Johnny Walker Blue and Jack Daniels, he requested the waitress Cyra Benlot to purchase the same outside but his Korean boss only gave P4,000, so she went back to the store and took additional P3,000 from the cash box. By the end of the incident, the restaurant was scammed out of a total of P15,000 worth of food, beverage, and cellphone load.
Vice Mayor Alan Gel said this is not the first time that his name was namedropped to prey on their victims using the same modus operandi. There had been incidents in the past when his name was used to supposedly buy two expensive dogs from a resident of Himamaylan, Negros Occidental while another establishment brought food that he allegedly ordered on top of cellphone load. His name was also used to order two expensive cars and pricey wine from Bethel Guest House. The most recent came to light when a businessman called the Vice Mayor to verify if it was true that he needed P30,000 because he needed to host five visitors from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group(CDIG).
Only lately, the office of Gov. Roel Degamo also received similar calls but were able to foil attempts to solicit cellphone load by the thousands and so with Mayor Ipe Remollo.
Another Korean establishment in Tugas, Piapi, was able to foil a similar attempt. Sensing that something was not right, the manager, Arlene Arguilos, did not push through with the transaction despite the caller threatening to revoke their permit.