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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, August 10, 2011
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More victimized by swindlers
posing as relatives of mayor

BY ADRIAN NEMES III

The police is asking the National Bureau of Investigation to help make a facial sketch of  the man who introduced himself as a relative of Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia and duped the service crew of a restaurant and a pastry shop in Bacolod City Monday and Sunday.

The man’s female partner also attempted to swindle  a bank managerMonday by pretending to be Elsa Leonardia, the wife of the mayor. Themanager, however, was not fooled.

Bacolod police director, Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz said that the man, “a certain Atty. Vincent Leonardia” and his cohort, “a certain Dr. Leonardia”, who claimed to be the mayor’s sister took P5,875 cash from the Rai Rai Ken Restaurant SM City Branch Monday.

Evelyn Castro, service crew member of El Ideal Pastry and Bakeshop at Robinson’s place Bacolod also reported to the police that a woman who also introduced herself as “Dr. Leonardia” called at about 4 p.m. Sunday, ordered pastries from their store, sent “Atty. Leonardia” to the pastry shop and took P3,000 in cash, the police said.

The swindlers who posed as Leonardia’s relatives also called Max and Chicken Deli restaurants at the SM City mall, but  did not show up.

A source told the DAILY STAR that the suspects could also be the same persons who took about P200,000 in cash from a money changer in Bacolod several weeks ago.

Meanwhile, a suspected swindler, who introduced herself as the wife of Leonardia also attempted to swindle the Philippine Veteran’s Bank in Bacolod City Monday.

PVB branch manager Joedith Gepes, 37, said she received a call from a woman who introduced herself as “Dr. Elsa Leonardia” at about 12:30 p.m. and  told her that she was at the foundation day celebration of the nearby Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital and needed P200,000 in P500 bills to give to the children and priests there.

The woman also asked Gepes if she could deliver the money to the hospital and it will be received by her son, a certain “Atty. Vincent Leonardia”.

She asked Gepes for the plate number of her vehicle and said she would reserve a parking space for her at the hospital.

Gepes, who knows the mayor’s wife, said she knew the woman was a fake even if she sounded like Mrs. Leonardia because she claimed she is a doctor and to have a son who  is a lawyer.I know that the mayor’s wife is not a doctor and they do not have a lawyer son, she said.

The bank manager said she called the residence of the mayor, and was told that the real Mrs. Leonardia was out of the town.

Gepes said the woman called a second time and asked her to increase the amount she needed from P200,000 to P250,000 and told her she would send the bank personnel snacks.

When I told her there was no need for snacks, the woman said she would send her husband over with a cake, which of course was funny since that meant she would be making the mayor her delivery boy, Gepes said.

Gepes said when she asked the woman if she was really Elsa, because the mayor’s wife is not a doctor, the woman pretended that she had a bad phone connection, put the phone downand did not call again.

The Mayor reiterated his warning to all business establishments not to believe people who introduce themselves as his relatives right away, when conducting business transactions.*APN

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