Isko to close malls found selling ‘GSM’ cellphones

September 16, 2019
Isko Moreno
Mayor Isko Moreno with SMART chief Maj. Jhun Ibay present the confiscated GSM cellphones and the suspects arrested for selling the said units. Photo by Jerry S. Tan

ALL shopping mall operators in Manila were warned with closure and charges by Mayor Isko Moreno should they be found allowing their merchants to sell ‘GSM’ (galing sa magnanakaw) cellphones within their premises.

Moreno particularly called the attention of Tutuban Mall and Isetann on Recto, which he gave 72 hours to explain and act, after a total of six persons were arrested last week by the group of special mayor’s reaction team (SMART) chief Maj. Jhun Ibay, for peddling such smartphones inside the malls, where 148 units were confiscated.

The mayor stressed that it is the responsibility of the mall owners and operators to ensure that their merchants are selling legally-acquired items only and on the part of the buyers, to look for proof of ownership to make sure that the items they are purchasing are not stolen.

‘Wag n’yo sabihin na hindi ninyo alam.  Ngayon, patatawarin ko pa kayo pero no more excuses after this.  Babala sa lahat ng mall sa Maynila. Look for proof of ownership from the vendor. Pag wala, i-consider n’yong nakaw’ he stressed, adding that the same thing applies for the buyers.

‘Magsiyasat kayo ng mga pinapayagan n’yong mangupahan para magtinda ng second-hand cellphone.  Ayokong me iiyak na tatay o nanay, nasaksak ang anak o namatay dahil inagawan ng cellfone.  Para mapanatili kapanatagan ng magulang, ‘yung source at outlet kung saan nakikinabang ang snatcher ng kanyang ninakaw ay ipasasara natin,’ Moreno added.

He warned that in such cases, not only are the mall operators and stall owners liable for violation of Presidential Decree1612 or the anti-fencing law but the buyers as well.

Moreno said the move is aimed at giving every Manilan, specially parents who have children travelling within the city either as students or professionals, peace of mind, pointing out that holduppers, thieves and snatchers targetting cellphones thrive, knowing that they have ready buyers.

Meanwhile, Ibay said six minors who are cellphone snatchers, were also arrested by SMART operatives and are now under the custody of the Manila Department of Social Welfare (MDSW) under Re Fugoso.

A certain ‘Beng’ is also being hunted down after being identified as the buyer of stolen cellphones that end up in Tutuban mall.
In another development, 14 illegal online gambling bettors were also arrested by SMaRT operatives over the weekend in violation of PD 1602 in relation to Sec.6 of RA 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012).                                     
‘Bawal ang online sabong hanggang walang lisensya o prangkisa mula sa Games and Amusemet Board (GAB),’ he said.