Suspects behind group soliciting cash for Sara’s campaign funds surrender

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 5 Aug) – Four suspects who were behind the group using the names of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and other local officials to solicit campaign funds from contractors and businessmen surrendered to the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) last July 30.

A huge billboard along MacArthur Highway in Matina, Davao City wants motorists to consider a Sara Duterte – Win Gatchalian tandem in 2022 in this photo taken on 5 June 2021. MindaNews file photo by CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS

In a statement of the City Government of Davao released on Wednesday, police authorities identified the suspects as Patrick Orinio Cerbito, Ramon Segundo, Antonio Cerbito, and Antonio Segundo, who were alleged members of the Cerbito-Hernandez Organized Group.

It added that the suspects presented themselves as officials of the City Hall of Davao to raise funds for the presidential campaign of Duterte. The NCRPO presented the four to the media on Wednesday.

“The City Government of Davao would like to commend the National Capital Regional Police Office and everyone involved in the aggressive and successful law enforcement against the members of an organized crime group of scammers who used the name of Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte and other officials of the City Hall of Davao in their illegal activities,” the statement read.

Last January, the mayor warned the public against a group of scammers claiming to be in charge of her fund-raising and requesting money from contractors or businessmen.

She denied organizing fund-raising activities for her benefit and stressed that these activities were unauthorized.

The mayor expressed her intention to throw her hat into the ring for next year’s presidential elections.

Last month, Duterte said she plans to visit other parts of the country to hold consultations with the people to know their sentiments on her possible presidential bid.

She said she wants to hear the thoughts of the people from the grassroots of having another Duterte to lead the country, and not just comments from her allies and friends, including her supporters organizing the “Run, Sara, Run” movement.

Duterte visited Cebu City on July 9 to meet with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and went to Zamboanga City on July 14 to sign a sisterhood agreement with Mayor Beng Climaco and visited the survivors of the C-130 aircraft crash in Patikul, Sulu last July 4. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)