Scam­mers us­ing Marawi cri­sis warned anew

The Philippine Star - - NATION - – Em­manuel Tupas, Roel Pareño

The De­part­ment of the In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment (DILG) has vowed to ex­pose scam­mers so­lic­it­ing money for Marawi evac­uees.

DILG of­fi­cer-in-charge Catal­ino Cuy said they con­tinue to re­ceive re­ports of phone calls and text mes­sages from in­di­vid­u­als who pose as DILG chief or mem­bers of his staff ask­ing for cash do­na­tions for dis­placed Marawi res­i­dents.

“It’s only a mat­ter of time for you to be ex­posed. Our po­lice in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy ex­perts are now work­ing, even as I speak,” Cuy said in a state­ment.

“The hands of the law will reach fraud­sters who are shame­lessly us­ing the name of poor Marawi evac­uees to get money from un­sus­pect­ing vic­tims,” he said.

Cuy took ex­cep­tion to un­scrupu­lous in­di­vid­u­als who ask for do­na­tions to be sent through a re­mit­tance cen­ter or de­posited in a bank ac­count.

He called on lo­cal chief ex­ec­u­tives to help in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“Help your­self from be­ing a vic­tim of ex­tor­tion­ists and be part of the so­lu­tion,” Cuy said.

No more dead­line

Mean­while, De­fense Sec­re­tary Delfin Loren­zana is no longer set­ting a dead­line to end mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions in Marawi.

”I have been burned many times, per­haps five times. At the end of the day, it is up to the ground com­man­der,” Loren­zana told re­porters dur­ing a visit to Zam­boanga City for a sum­mit with Mus­lim schol­ars yes­ter­day.

How­ever, Loren­zana said West­ern Min­danao Com­mand chief Lt. Gen. Car­l­ito Galvez gave as­sur­ance that the op­er­a­tion would end soon.

“He told me just awhile ago that the days are num­bered, but he also did not give a date,” Loren­zana said.

”Let’s just wait. One of these days you will be sur­prised – the Pres­i­dent will emerge from the bat­tle­ground to de­clare that the war is over,” he said.

Gov­ern­ment forces have been fight­ing Maute mil­i­tants who oc­cu­pied parts of Marawi since May 23.

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