PALO, Leyte, Philippines- Two fresh graduates from Palo National High School lost their laptops amounting to P30,000 each to two persons in a budol-budol scam in Palo, Leyte Thursday afternoon.
The victims were identified as Florderiza Honorio and Sherly Noveda, both 16 years old and residents of the town.
In an interview with Manila Channel, Honorio and Noveda said that while they were walking along downtown area one woman approached them and asked them if they know the address of a certain trucking company in Palo.
“The lady started talking to us, and when she noticed that we are answering her in Waray-waray she requested that we’ll speak to her in Tagalog because she cannot understand our language. She then persuaded us to help her locate the address despite us telling her we don’t have any idea on what she was looking for,” Noveda recalled.
Noveda added that while they were talking to the woman, another man went closer to them, offered help, and convinced them to walk few meters away.
“He spoke with a mix of Cebuano and Waray-waray. He told us that he knew of one trucking company in Palo and that we should go with him so that we will be given a reward for helping the woman. He was very charismatic. Yet we told them we are already leaving because we felt that the problem was already solved,” recalled Honorio.
Honorio said that when the man left them to contact the said trucking company, the woman offered them to hold her bag, also telling them that it contained P100,000 as payment to the trucking company.
“ The woman asked us of any guarantee that her bag is safe with us. She then demanded that we give to her the laptops we’re bringing that day as an exchange. We believed we’re being hypnotized. We’re not able to react, we’re paralyzed. We gave to her the laptops without hesitation. ”
The two students said that after they dutifully handed their laptops over to the woman, they were again asked again to go to a nearby pawnshop in the downtown area.
“When we arrived in the said pawnshop, it was only there that we’ve found out we’re being deceived by the woman. We’re sweating hard as we tried to recall what had happened. And when we opened the bag, we only found bundled of papers,” Honorio said.
“We’ve learned the lesson the hard way. Never talk to strangers, never trust them.”
“What was even more painful is that we’ll be using the laptops for a national journalism contest this weekend and that our materials are there,” added Noveda.
Local police are now investigating on the incident.