Town mayor’s name used in cellphone load scam

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – An unidentified man who pretended to be Mayor Richard Jaojoco of Toboso, Negros Occidental victimized two women by stealing P64,000 worth of cellphone load cards last Thursday.

Police Major Joery Puerto, town police chief, said the child of Rey Yap, 55, of Barangay Poblacion, posted on social media his cellphone number as he was looking for interested buyers for a piece of land.

Puerto said Yap received a call from a man who claimed to be Jaojoco and inquired about the land.

The man, according to Yap, allegedly asked him to provide cellphone load to several numbers of the local government unit, Puerto said.

Without confirming the identity of his caller, Yap went first to Mary Gil Delgado and asked her for P24,000 worth of cellphone load.

Then he went to Primilin Anne Mariano, and asked her for more cellphone load worth P40,000.

Yap told both of them that Jaojoco will pay for the loads.

But after Mariano sent the load, she asked for the phone number of Yap’s client to confirm if he was indeed the town mayor.

Mariano found out the Yap’s client was not Jaojoco.

It then prompted her to call for police assistance which led to Yap’s arrest at the public market.

Puerto said Yap told the police that he didn’t know his supposed client was a poser.

“We tried calling his client but we can no longer reach him,” Puerto said.

Puerto said Jaojoco got mad after learning the incident because his name was used in the modus.

Although Yap’s family is willing to settle the incident with the two victims and pay for the amount of the stolen cellphone load, Puerto said estafa charges were still filed against him before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office here Friday afternoon because he was the one who transacted with the two victims.

Before the filing of charges, Yap was released from police custody yesterday morning after the lapse of the 18-hour reglementary detention period, Puerto said.

“He (Yap) might also be a victim but since he was the one who asked for a cellphone load, he must face the charges,” Puerto said.

Last month, a contractor and a government official in the province were also scammed by a person who used the name of Police Colonel Romeo Baleros, director of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo), to ask for P10,000 worth of cellphone load.

Police has warned the public against the scam.