Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Monday (September 16) warned mall owners and operators in the city that he will not hesitate to padlock their establishments if they will be found selling stolen cellular phones and other goods.
Moreno made the pronouncement after operatives of the Special Mayor’s Reaction Team (SMaRT) arrested five suspects who were caught buying and selling stolen cell phones. They also raided the Tutuban Mall in Divisoria and Isetann Mall in Recto and confiscated 148 mobile phones being sold without the necessary proof of ownership. The mayor said this violates Presidential Decree 1612, or the Anti-Fencing Law.
He gave the malls in the city three days to inspect all their stall-tenants that are selling second-hand phones to make sure they are not violating the anti-fencing law, or else they will be shut down by the city.
“Tigilan nyo na ang pgtitinda ng mga nakaw na bagay at huwag ninyong sabihin sakin na hindi nyo alam (Stop selling stolen items and don’t tell me that you are not aware of it,” Moreno warned mall operators in Manila.
He said Tutuban Mall has already responded to his order and committed to comply with the deadline he gave.
Moreno stressed that cell phone snatching will only persist if the buying and selling of these stolen goods will continue.
“Ayaw kong may iiyak na naman na nanay, iiyak na naman na tatay, dahil nasaksak yung anak nila, namatay yung anak nila dahil inagawan ng cell phone (I don’t want to see another mother or father crying because their children were killed after their cell phones were snatched),” Moreno said.
To also ensure compliance, Moreno ordered the city’s Business Permits and Licensing Office to conduct its own inspection of malls in the city.