By Benjamin B. Pulta
08/11/2010 [ tribune.net.ph ]
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) yesterday alerted the public of a land scam, which uses the name of Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordination Council (HUDCC) chairman Jejomar Binay.
“This is a scam and it is unfortunate that there are some people who would choose to use the name of the Vice President to deceive their fellow Filipinos,” Binay’s chief of staff Benjamin Martinez said.
Earlier, the OVP warned the public of a text scam, informing recipients that they have won in a raffle sponsored by a certain Millionaires’ Club for Vice President Binay.
Martinez said they received reports of the land scam from Binay’s fraternity brothers in the Alpha Phi Omega. In the two cases reported to them, the perpetrators have a common approach, leading the OVP to believe that this is an organized scam, he said.
One of the incidents, which happened two weeks ago in Bacolod, involved an unidentified person who made the rounds of government offices announcing he was looking for properties to purchase on behalf of the Vice President. Some of the properties will allegedly be used for government housing projects while the others will be purchased by the Vice President for his personal use.
A similar incident was also reported in the Cagayan Valley, where a certain Hermie Ramos also visited government offices and gave the same story.
Ramos visited the offices of the local Land Transportation Office, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and several municipal halls. Ramos reportedly claimed that he was also instructed by Binay to gather reports of irregularities in these offices.
“We do not know this Mr. Ramos. He and his companions are not connected with the Office of the Vice President. We have asked the proper authorities to look into the matter,” Martinez said.
Martinez has also advised the public to immediately report persons who claim to be representatives of the Vice President to the authorities and to the OVP.
“The OVP has not authorized anyone to purchase real property or to gather reports of irregularities in government offices,” he said.