Pagadian mayor, police file complaints vs alleged scammers

Co has insisted he's a victim - and is not part - of the pyramid scam

MORE COMPLAINTS. Villanueva said a mayor and police officers have filed complaints against the Aman Futures Group.

MANILA, Philippines – Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co and 23 police and fire officers have filed separate complaints against the group behind what is touted as the biggest scam in the country’s recent history.

Co and the police and fire officers filed a complaint of large-scale estafa on November 20 against the executives of Aman Futures Group, a trading firm that reportedly amassed P12-billion in investments from thousands of people mostly from Cebu, Pagadian City and Cagayan de Oro.

Co, who was linked to the scam by Maria Dona Coyme, a finance manager of Aman Futures Group, has insisted that he was one of the victims of the pyramid scam, having invested P30 million in the group that offered a “double-your-money” scheme.  

Co, however, is reportedly one of those who sought out investors for the Aman Futures Group. But the mayor – who is now running for the 1st district of Zamboanga del Sur in the 2013 elections – said in news reports that this is just an attack from his political opponents.    

Meanwhile, 23 police officers from Pagadian city also filed a complaint against the group’s founder Manuel Amalilio (also known as Mohammad Suffian Saaid) and 62 other members and officers of the group. The police officers filed their complaint at the Philippine National Police office in Region 9. 

DOJ senior assistant state prosecutor Edna Villanueva, head of the special panel of prosecutors handling the case, said there are now 7 complaints against the group, while 5 others have been filed against the Jahcob “Coco” Rasuman group.

The Rasuman group allegedly scammed investors by promising a return rate of up to 70%. 

Villanueva added that the respective subpoena for 38 officers of the Aman Futures Group residing in Pasay and Parañaque have been served already,  while 6 others will be issued for those residing in Pagadian City and Cagayan de Oro. The subpoena for Amalilio – who allegedly left for Sabah, Malaysia on November 14 – will be served in his residence in Cebu City instead. 

The DOJ also ordered the Bureau of Immigration to issue a lookout bulletin against two more people involved in the scam: lawyer Isagani Subol Laluna and a certain Wilanie Labrador Fuentes. The BI initially released a travel bulletin against 38 other officers of Aman Futures Group on November 15. Immigration officers were instructed to report if any of the following left the country: 

Aside from Amalilio, the other respondents are Fernando Luna, Lelian Lim Gan, Eduard Lim, Willie Fuentes, Naezelle Rodriguez, Lurix Lopez, Isagani laluna, Nimfa Luna, Dhurwin Wenceslao, Donna Coyme, Vanessa Luna, Noel Luna, Reggie Luna, Araceli Pasco, Lez Uy Caballero, Marilou Caballero, Rogelio Caballero, Marichu Caballero, Roderick Luna, Roy Aspera, Mike Heres, Edwin Caballero; Liezel Paner, Connie Paner, Edward Amaro, Marione Tan Paner, Elen Tan, Judy Amaro, Mike Wenceslao, Alfredo Aspera alias “Bula,” Grace Empalmado, Ariel Empalmado, Yuyet Dumandan, Toto Roda, Edilberto Cabillo Elmidulan, Shiela Luna Lasaca, Ernesto Luna, Marcelo Andale, Marlou Lasaca, and John and Jane Does.

The BI and the DOJ could not stop them from going abroad, however. The Supreme Court has barred the DOJ from issuing hold departure orders after the latter prohibited former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo from leaving the country in 2011. – 

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