Binay warns public anew vs people using his name for extortion


Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Jejomar Binay has again warned the public against people who are using his name to extort money.

“Huwag po natin hayaang mabiktima tayo ng mga manlolokong ito na nagpapanggap para lamang makakuha ng perang pinaghirapan ng iba (Let us not fall prey to these crooks who pretend as someone else just to get the hard-earned money of  other people),”  Binay said in a statement on Thursday.

He issued this warning after he received reports that there were text messages circulating informing recipients that they have won money and housing units from a foundation bearing his name.

Binay said some people, who fell victim to these scams, also recently went to his office to ask assistance and report their experience.

“I would like to reiterate that Office of the Vice President (OVP) is not offering any raffle contests, nor have I authorized any foundation to use my name for any purpose. These text messages are scams,” he said.

The National Bureau of Investigation earlier arrested a woman in Bago City in Negros Occidental for allegedly using Binay’s name to swindle two contractors out of P500,000.

According to the NBI, Ma. Cristita Tortogo extorted money from two contractors and claimed to facilitate a housing contract from the Vice President.

Tortogo is currently facing charges for violating Batas Pambansa 22 (The Anti-Bouncing Check Law) and falsification of public documents. She is also facing other charges before the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office filed by the NBI.

The NBI had also previously arrested a man posing as the Vice President and tried to extort P300,000 from business magnate Lucio Tan.

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