MANILA, Philippines – A suspected swindler in Davao City learned a lesson he will never forget after he was forced to eat fake land titles by no less than the city’s vice mayor, Rodrigo Duterte.
Suspect Manolito Gavas was arrested Monday for scamming several informal settlers of their money.
Gavas claimed to be part of a foundation that can grant lots in the city for just P250.
He also made an erroneous claim to the unsuspecting victims that the foundation owns the entire Philippines, even presenting a fake Supreme Court (SC) decision on the matter.
Duterte, the city’s former mayor, met Gavas at the jail before dawn Tuesday. Irked by Gavas' scam, Duterte forced the suspect to eat the fake land titles that the latter presented to the informal settlers.
Gavas was ordered arrested on Sunday after authorities learned that he led a group of informal settlers in marching towards a private subdivision in Barangay Matina Aplaya to claim their supposed lots.
He was scheduled for inquest proceedings today for various charges, including syndicated estafa through falsification of public documents, trespassing, malicious mischief and robbery.
The Dutertes are known for the stern way they deal with criminals in the city.
Duterte’s daughter, Mayor Sara Duterte, made the news last year after she punched court sheriff Abe Andres during a demolition of informal settlements.
The incident stemmed from a demolition order served by Andres that would destroy shanties of 500 families in Barangay Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Suliman, Agdao.
The mayor said she ordered Andres to postpone the demolition but she was ignored.
She later apologized for the incident. – with a report from May-May Benedicto, dzMM