La Divi vendors deny extort racket

Divisoria, Manila

By Pat Santos

The Association of Muslim Vendors in Divisoria denied yesterday a report its members are being victimized by a systematic extortion racket allegedly perpetrated by Manila City Hall officials.

The group’s spokesman Abner Baluto said the administration of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has, in fact, been lenient on them. He categorically denied any “tong” or grease money being collected by city hall personnel.

Baluto added some vendors have been running afoul with regulations in taking advantage of Estrada’s “compassion for the poor.”

The group also supported the operations being conducted by the Metro Manila Development Authority in clearing roads and sidewalks of obstructions.

Meanwhile, Manila policemen shot dead a suspected drug pusher and arrested three of his alleged cohorts in Paco, Manila at dawn yesterday.

MPD Station 5 chief Supt. Albert Barot identified the fatality as Efren Nimo alias Alex, 38, married, a jobless resident of Interior 3, Barangay Sta. Ana, Manila.


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