Friday July 20, 2018

Prank calls for food takeouts worth thousands spook City Hall

SOMEONE has been calling food establishments and placing thousands worth of orders for delivery to the offices of three Cebu City councilors and Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella over the past few days.

And they don’t know who’s responsible.

Delivered were boxes of lechon, several kilos of crispy pata, more than a dozen burgers and several vegetable salads, among others.

At the Office of the Vice Mayor, one of the staff, Jovy Montecillo, said four kilos of original and spicy lechon costing almost P3,000 and P700 worth of soft drinks arrived at their office shortly before noon last Wednesday.

The delivery woman told the vice mayor’s staff that someone had called them and placed the order for delivery.

Montecillo told her it wasn’t them.

“The delivery woman was worried because the lechon had already been chopped so the vice mayor paid her,” she said in Cebuano.

Labella had just finished one of his meetings and was in his office that time.

But around 3 p.m., Montecillo said five kilos of crispy pata from a restaurant on Gen. Maxilom Ave. were delivered to their office.

No payment

The one who placed the order also asked the restaurant for a phone load worth P500 and told the latter they would be paid at the vice mayor’s office.

But Montecillo said they no longer paid for the crispy pata and the load.

A similar same incident happened at the office of Councilor Mary Ann de los Santos.

One of her staff, Kate Belasino, said three boxes of lechon worth P1,200 each were delivered to their office last Wednesday.

The lechon, though, came from a different establishment.

Also delivered to their office were six soft drink bottles and eight burgers from another food chain.

“We didn’t accept the delivery since we didn’t order the food or the soft drinks,” Belasino said in Cebuano.

Belasino said they were given a number of the one who placed the order. They dialed it and it rang. Someone answered, but would not talk.

At the office of Councilor Jerry Guardo, P3,215 worth of burgers from a burger chain were also delivered to his office early morning last Wednesday.

Na-shock gyud mi (We were shocked). Amo gitawagan si konsehal unya wa man siya nag-order (So we called the councilor, but he denied ordering the burgers),” said Joanne Vallentos, one of Guardo’s staff.

They also did not pay.

Another batch of burgers worth P2,000 from another burger chain was delivered to their office yesterday morning.

The delivery man gave them the number of the one who placed the order. They called it but the person on the other line wouldn’t talk.

“It was risky on our part had we accepted the order. We didn’t know where it came from. It may have something,” Vallentos said in Cebuano.

Mandaue incident

The office of Councilor Sisinio Andales also received P3,000 worth of lechon and three soft drinks last Wednesday.

“We were wondering who placed the order since we obviously didn’t. And if we do order food, we have one restaurant that we always call,” said one of Andales’s staff Carmela Patiño.

The person who placed the order also asked for P700 worth of phone load.

The delivery man returned with the food and the soft drinks but without the payment.

Four vegetable salads were also delivered to Andales’s office last Monday.

Told about this series of incidents, Councilor Dave Tumulak, chairperson of the City Council’s committee on public order and safety, asked establishments to verify calls and orders, especially if these come from office of city officials.

He said a similar incident happened to Mandaue Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna.

Tumulak, who is the deputy mayor for police matters, also asked the Cebu City Police Office to look into the matter and to trace the cellular numbers of the person/s who placed the orders.

Makaluluoy sad ang mga negosyante kay di sila mabayran (I feel bad for the establishments because they wouldn’t get paid),” he said.