Mandaluyong fish vendors hit ‘holdup gang’s’ tactics | Inquirer News

Mandaluyong fish vendors hit ‘holdup gang’s’ tactics

/ 01:31 AM March 10, 2012

Have you heard of a technical hold-up?

A group of fish vendors in the Mandaluyong City market believe they have fallen victim to a racket they could only call “a technical holdup.”

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These vendors, stationed by the side of an alley clogged with waiting tricycles, between the Munting Palengke and the Triple A Market, continue to lose their merchandise to a scheming group allegedly identified with the Mayor’s Office.

The vendors complained that a gang, headed by a certain Edwin, described as tall, dark, balding, would swoop down on their stalls without warning and cart away their merchandise wholesale.

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Last week alone, Teresita Marcial Santos, 58, said she lost all her first-class squid for sale, costing a total of P3,000, to the group.

A young male vendor said he, together with other vendors down the alley, had been similarly victimized with unfailing regularity.

“Minsan dalawang beses isang linggo (Sometimes they strike twice a week),” explained Santos, who said she got their wares on credit, care of the 5-6 lending monopoly in and around the Tiger City market area.

These vendors have the necessary permits properly displayed. They swore they never sell past the defined boundaries, meaning they could not be charged with illegal vending.

But the raiding group would reportedly often bully its way and seize the merchandise, without issuing a receipt.

After the last raid, Santos said they rushed to city hall to pay fines, if they had indeed violated an ordinance, to recover their merchandise.

“Sabi, ibinigay sa DSWD Office ang paninda (We were told our items were sent to the DSWD Office),” Santos said.

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The DSWD Office denied it had received the confiscated fresh items.

The vendors said they could not do anything as the raiders operated by using the Mayor’s Office as a shield.

Egay Mendiola, a civic worker from Barangay Poblacion, said he had been told a loot totaling P30,000 was carted away in the group’s last raid.

It was Mendiola who relayed the vendors’ complaint to the Inquirer.

This reporter had informed someone from the Mayor’s Office about the malpractice late last week.

“So far there have been no seizures this week,” Santos said.

Santos believes word has reached Mayor Benhur Abalos about the “technical robbery” going on at the Mandaluyong City wet market.

On Friday, the vendors said they saw Edwin, the alleged group leader, walk past their stalls with no hint of menace.

These same vendors, however, said the gang could only be lying low before striking again, if nothing is done to stop them.

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TAGS: fish vendors, local government, Mandaluyong City, Philippines – Metro, technical holdup
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