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A businessman in Puerto Princesa City said he experienced an alleged extortion through his mobile phone from an individual who claimed to be a member of the New People’s Army (NPA).

The businessman, who requested that his identity and business name be kept, told Palawan News in a phone call that an unknown number called him and texted him continuously asking for money two days ago.

He said he did not send any amount of money because he also doubted if the callers were legitimate members of the rebel group.

“They started [contacting me] two days ago and asking for bags of rice and some P20,000. I did not send any money because I doubted that they were NPA,” he said.

“In my opinion, it is an organized scam. We also traced the number and it is in Pasig. This is to help the locals and the less fortunate individuals [who might become victims of their scheme],” he added.

He said although he reported the incident to the police, he just wanted to give awareness to other business owners in the province and to prevent these individuals from victimizing them.

“This is to give awareness to residents [of Palawan] because it is not good to ask for any money considering the typhoon Odette that affected the majority of business establishments,” he said.

Meanwhile, P/Col. Adonis Guzman, Palawan Police Provincial Office (PPPO) provincial director, said that municipal police stations in the province have not yet recorded any such incident this year.

“From January up to this date ay walang monitored na ganyang information sa other stations. Kung mayroon man ay hindi na NPA ang mga ‘yan, iba na ‘yan,” Guzman said.

P/Lt. Col. Alonso Tabi Jr., spokesperson for the Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO), said they will check the information and ask for the help of the people who have been scammed.

“I-validate natin ang information [at] makipagtulungan lang po ang tinawagan na tao,” Tabi said.

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