Pickpockets keep busy; Tomas ‘cancels’ parties

IN 30 minutes, nine local and foreign tourists lost their wallets to pickpockets in Gen. Maxilom Ave., Fuente Osmeña and Osmeña Blvd. during yesterday’s Sinulog Grand Parade.

Two people – a 16-year-old boy and a 40-year-old mother, were also arrested for allegedly stealing the cellular phones of two female Sinulog spectators. A man was forced out of the Cebu City Sports Complex for selling a VIP-complimentary ticket.

Ricky Ballesteros, executive director of the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI), confiscated one VIP ticket from Augusto Viñalon.

Viñalon said he is a victim, not a suspect.

Ballesteros said there was something suspicious about Viñalon, who was allegedly giving signals to another person while holding a brown envelope.

Ballesteros said SFI’s covert security at the Abellana Grandstand saw Viñalon with the envelope. The envelope had the label “Sammy Rama.”

The complimentary ticket was reportedly from the Office of Vice Mayor Michael Rama. But Ballesteros said he does not know Sammy.

Viñalon said he bought the ticket from a vendor outside the Cebu City Sports Complex. It originally cost P500 but he haggled for it at P300. But Ballesteros said the ticket is not for sale. (more)

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