Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso has ordered a crackdown on Manila malls that allow stalls selling stolen mobile phones as well as on off-track betting stations that serve as fronts for online cockfighting.
Domagoso gave Manila malls—SM, Robinsons, Harrison Plaza, Tutuban, Isetann, and 168, among others—72 hours or until Wednesday to clear their establishments of stalls selling stolen phones and passing these off as secondhand.
“We have sent inspection teams to check the business permits of these stalls. And these malls must do their due diligence. Use your logic—where do all these secondhand phones come from? Maybe some are really sold by people disposing of their old phones. But majority are stolen ones. These are what we call GSMs—Galing Sa Magnanakaw,” he said during the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Hotel forum Monday.
“We will shut down malls that will not comply. Mall owners are equally liable if stolen goods are found to be sold in their establishments,” he added, citing Presidential Decree No. 1612 or the Anti-Fencing Law.
While the forum was ongoing, a representative from Tutuban Mall sent word that they would comply with Domagoso’s order.
“How many more mothers and fathers have to shed tears because their son or daughter was hurt by phone snatchers? Worse, the culprits are usually minors,” the mayor said.
Earlier, members of the Special Mayor’s Reaction Team (SMaRT) held an inspection at Isetann Mall that led to the confiscation of some 148 assorted brands of phones.
Moreno likewise warned off-track betting establishments not to engage in illegal online gambling.
He cited the case of the 14 suspects who were arrested at an off-track betting in Sampaloc Friday evening after the establishment was found to be running illegal online cockfighting operations.
“They do not have permit from the Games and Amusement Board. They do not have the right to operate online cockfighting,” the mayor said.
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