By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso has warned malls operating in the city to stop selling secondhand mobile phones and other gadgets or face closure.
Particularly, Moreno gave a mall in Tondo and Recto 72 hours to clean their shelves and stop selling second hand mobile phones most of which appear to be stolen from commuters.
The order came after a special unit under the office of the mayor discovered that stolen gadgets were being sold at stalls in the mall and passed off as second hand items.
“I’m giving you 72 hours. I will close the entire mall ‘pag patuloy ninyong kinakalinga, pinapayagan ang mga second hand cellphones, vendors na bumibili ng mga nakaw (I will close the entire mall if you continue to coddle vendors selling stolen second hand cellphones),” Moreno warned during the media presentation of several robbery suspects at the Manila City Hall.
Moreno issued the same warning to other malls operating in Manila.
“Inspect your tenants selling second hand mobile phones today. We don’t want you to get involved,” Moreno said.
To make sure that the mobile phone being offered for sale is not stolen, Moreno said buyers should demand proof of ownership from the seller like a valid ID and an affidavit.
Police Maj. Rosalino Ibay Jr., Special Mayor’s Reaction Team (SMaRT) chief said without these, consider it stolen.
Ibay told Manila Bulletin a snatcher who was arrested by his team told him the stolen phones are being traded in stalls in malls.
“Hindi ako mangingimi na i-shut down ang lahat ng mall na mahuhulihan namin na nagpapa-upa sa isang tindahan na nagtitinda ng mga nakaw na cellphone (I will not hesitate to shut down all malls that will be caught with tenants selling stolen mobile phones),” Moreno added.
“Ayaw kong may iiyak nanamang nanay, iiyak nanamang tatay, na nasaksak yung anak nya, namatay anak, nya na inagawan ng cellphone ( I do not want to hear stories of parents that their child was stabbed by mobile phone snatchers),” Moreno said.
“If there is no one buying stolen items, there will also be no robbers,” he added.
The Manila Police District’s SMaRT said six minors were arrested for robbery (snatching).
“Tingnan nyo ang mga involved, mga bata,” Moreno said.
The mayor said he already ordered the Manila City Hall’s Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) to inspect all the malls in the city and hold those who sell stolen mobile phones accountable.
Violation of the anti-fencing law will be filed against those who buy stolen objects, including mall owners.
“The presumption is that you did your due diligence, you did your assignment… that is your obligation,” he added.