Roxas relieves police chiefs over money scam
MANILA, Philippines - Two Philippine National Police (PNP) chiefs were dismissed by Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas on Thursday, November 15, because of their alleged failure to stop the Aman Futures investment scam that victimized some 15,000 people in Pagadian City and parts of Mindanao.
Roxas said he relieved Zamboanga del Sur Provincial PNP Director Senior Supt William T. Manzan and Pagadian City Chief of Police Supt Kenneth H. Mission to avoid a cover-up in the ongoing investigation of the scam that reportedly collected P12 billion from mostly low-income clients.
“The fact that there was no report that filtered up from the City PNP to the province to the region all the way to headquarters indicates, at the very least, negligence or laziness,” Roxas said.
He said there have been obvious indicators that the scam was happening as early as February -- including people lining up outside Aman at 2 am -- which Mission and Manzan have failed to act on.
Aside from Manzan and Mission, 21 other PNP officers -- all of whom also reportedly invested in Aman -- have been recalled back to camp to ensure they do not use their authority to exact revenge on representatives of the company.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government is also examining bank balances of local government units in Lanao del Sur and Zamboanga del Sur, after reports that LGUs may have used public funds to invest in Aman.
Meanwhile, the manhunt for Aman officials continue.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima confirmed on Thursday that the president of Aman, Manuel Amalilo, s now in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
The company's board of directors however, are still believed to be in the country, specifically Cebu City.
In its October 8 cease-and-desist order, the Securities Echange Commission prohibited Aman Futures and its officials from further soliciting investments from the public, who they allegedly lured with promises of up to 40% returns in just 20 or 30 days.
The company said profits were produced by a Malaysian brokerage firm Okachi (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. -- with whom it had a customer agreement -- and which engages in trading of commodities such as oil, manganese, palm oil and nickel.
Victims initially received cash by showing their officials receipts, but investors were later issued post-dated checks with a 5-day maturity date instead of cash.
Investors started to panic when the Pagadian City Aman office closed last September 26. - Rappler.com