Members of the civil security of the local government unit here caught Morata victimizing a Maguindanaon woman and her son who had just withdrawn P22,000 cash from the bank.
It was tricycle driver Epifanio Bidiomita who tipped off market guards and policemen that a budol-budol gang member was duping a Moro woman. Morata attempted to run when the guards collared her in one corner of the public market. But two of her cohorts, one of them identified as Alfredo Sison, were able to escape.
Pangaoan Ongaw, resident of Barangay Kilada in nearby Matalam town, had just money from the Equitable PCI Bank last Friday when Morata approached her and asked for some help.
“She pleaded to help her find a 10-wheeler truck that she would hire to transport her produce to Cagayan de Oro City. She said she needed some cash. All the while I thought she was telling me the truth,” said John Rev Ongaw, Pangaoan’s son.
Ongaw filed estafa complaint against Morata.
The police, through Insp. Benjamin Mauricio of the city’s intelligence and anti-vice unit, submitted the complaint Friday afternoon.
When victims of the budol-budol gang knew of Morata’s arrest, they immediately went to the police station and positively identified the woman as the one that duped them.
One of the victims, a retired school teacher, told police that the budol-budol gang has gotten from her P250,000 after they convinced her to engage in a “double-the-amount business.”
Two of the victims, both elderly, were also reportedly duped worth P80,000 each by the group.
Chief Insp. Leo Ajero, city police director, has warned the public to be careful when approached by con artists as he directed his men to closely monitor the movement of the syndicate group.
Police describes members of the group as well-dressed with sweet-talking ability.