Orbos blows whistle on MMDA fund-raising scams

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Logo of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

Clara Masinag, News5-InterAksyon

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) acting Chairman Thomas Orbos on Thursday warned the public about unscrupulous individuals posing as MMDA employees soliciting money for events allegedly organized by the agency.

Orbos noted recently that authorities have arrested a bogus MMDA traffic supervisor in the municipality of Pateros during a sting operation.

“We have not authorized any employee to solicit money or donation, of any kind, from the public. People should be discerning and extra careful about such illicit activities, especially when it involves valuables or even money changing hands,” Orbos said.

In the past, people have been dismissed from the service for engaging in such unauthorized activity.

“We are also calling on the public to be vigilant and urge them to report these things to our office so we can swiftly act on them,” he said.

Last April 18, Pateros police officers, along with MMDA action officer Nelson Magan, nabbed Sonny Silverio at around 7:30 p.m. at Barangay San Roque, Pateros, after Joel Reyes, a former councilor, reported to authorities that the suspect came to him at his house and solicited P1,500 for an alleged fun run organized by the agency.

Reyes telephoned to check about a certain Sonny Silverio, who introduced himself as a supervisor at Sector 1 of MMDA’s Traffic Discipline Office (TDO).

After a quick check, Magan told Reyes that the name of Silverio is not included in the roster of MMDA employees, and told the former councilor to stall and keep the suspect from leaving until they arrive at the place.

Authorities nabbed Silverio right after Reyes handed over the money to the suspect.

When frisked, police discovered from Silverio several stickers bearing the MMDA logo inside a bag and a fake MMDA ID.

Magan also said the office of Mayor Miguel Ponce has been receiving several complaints regarding Silverio’s modus operandi.