By Pet Melliza/The Beekeeper
A group of five-year olds in their 40’s or 50’s played a sick, sick joke on their own friends and colleagues in the Iloilo press, making the latter poorer by P14,000.00, at least.
Throwing away P14,000 to pay for the costliest meal in their lives was necessary, otherwise the victims of the sick joke would have to land in jail and charged for estafa under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code for not paying their meals at the most expensive hotel on Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.
The cabal responsible for pulling off the trick first contacted via “texting” on mobile phone journeyman Francis T introducing himself as a “mayor” in one Aklan town.
The “mayor” asked Francis T to gather a group of reporters for a press conference on the island resort. The latter complied and assembled seven reporters through text messaging, to proceed to Boracay.
Upon arrival at the island resort, Francis T texted the “mayor” of their presence and queried where the latter could be located. Mr. “Mayor” answered he would be late since he was on the way from the mainland; he instructed Francis T to proceed to the classiest and costliest hotel where he would join them soon. “Kamo lang d’a bahala, order lang kamo pagkaon n’yo kay bayran ko lang karon (Feel free, just order your food and I will just settle the bills later),” he added.
The food was a work of a real chef but it was priced in dollars. Hours later, there was still no sign of the “mayor” coming; the visitors were getting edgy. Their cash on hand could not even pay for half of their P14,000 bill. It did not take them long to realize they had made donkeys of themselves for taking the “mayor” seriously. One from the group examined the mobile phone number of their supposed benefactor which turned out to be that of an Iloilo-based reporter.
It was a sick joke even though it had a happy ending. One in his or her right mind should have been circumspect in pulling off that trick that exposes another to risk, be it in limb or pocket.
It was not the handiwork alone of the cell phone owner pretending to be “mayor”. It was the job done by a team of nitwits who might have brains themselves only that they were fixated at the mental age of five who can’t distinguish right from wrong.
It was sheer luck that one of the victims contacted a relative in Iloilo City asking for P14,000 to be deposited in a money delivery outlet that saved the group from being thrown in jail.
The P14,000 meal, the transportation from Iloilo to Boracay that the eight victims spent, plus the emotional distress they suffered as outcome of the sick joke were sufficient grounds to summarily crucify or sent the culprits to the gas chamber.
The victims are mum about the ordeal they went through; and so are the culprits of the joke. The real mayor, meanwhile, was enraged after the victims informed him that somebody used his name to play the trick on them. The good mayor could only wish the culprits were around so he could bash their heads one after another with a baseball bat. “Panglampusan ko gid mga g_ _o nga ‘na (I will really hit the heads of these g_ _o)!”
That’s a joke that should not have been played in the first place. The victims know that and their first vow after returning to Iloilo is to slap the culprits with a damage suit to recover the P14,000 and other damages.
The culprits are just lucky ; notwithstanding the resounding outcry for their heads in the Iloilo media community somebody mediated and succeeded in cooling heads. He offered to refund P14,000 from his own pocket in exchange for the victims’ desistance.
The owner of the “mischievous” cell phone, on the other hand, is borrowing cash to reimburse the mediator and the other expenses that his victims paid for like transportation to Boracay from Iloilo and vice versa.
Despite its happy ending, that joke should not be played again, not even by five-year-olds.*