TAKING its cue from the pronouncements of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, a shopping mall took the initiative of going after those selling or attempting to sell stolen cellphones which resulted in the arrest of two suspects, one of whom is a minor.
In his report to Moreno, special mayor’s reaction team (SMART) chief Maj. Jhun Ibay identified the suspect as Rebecca Cruz Mahayag, while the name of her brother, aged 14, was withheld on account of his being later traced.
Ibay said that prior to the suspects’ arrest, a teenaged female student sought help after she lost her cellphone to a pickpocket who stole from her backpack while she was walking along Recto Avenue.
Meantime, Mahayag was reportedly trying to sell a cellphone to a stall in Tutuban Mall when a security personnel butted in and told her that they are no longer selling second-hand cellphones, pursuant to an order issued by Moreno. Mahayag changed her story and claimed she just brought the cellphone there for an ‘open line’ job.
Upon verification, it was discovered that the said cellphone belonged to the victim, so Mahayag was placed under arrest, along with her brother who took the cellphone and turned it over to Mahayag for disposal. It was learned that the victim also went to Tutuban Mall, merely taking a chance that her stolen cellphone might be there.
The Tutuban Mall security turned over the suspects to Ibay, who said that the 14-year-old suspect had been captured twice on CCTV in the act of pickpocketing and stealing cellphones. Said minor, he said, admitted to said crimes before the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and in the presence of his parents and ‘has therefore acted with discernment’.
Moreno lauded the Tutuban Mall management and security for heeding not only his call for a stop to the sale of second-hand or GSM (galing sa magnanakaw) cellphones in an effort to put cellphone thieves out of business, but moreso, for taking the initiative themselves to help the city government in the said aspect.
Ibay said appropriate charges have been filed against the suspects while he is mulling filing a case against the boy’s parents too, in connection with their negligence or even the possibility of allowing their son to engage in petty crimes.
Meanwhile, Moreno awarded a P500,000 cash incentive to gymnast champion Carlos Yulo, who bagged a gold medal in the men’s floor exercise of the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships held in Stuttgart, Germany.
Moreno said Yulo is a Manilan who was educated in public schools in Manila from elementary to college and comes from Leveriza in Malate, Manila.