Pagadian mayor denies hand in pyramid scam
Co says he is being used as a scapegoat

MANILA, Philippines – Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co denied on Tuesday, November 27 that he had a hand in the P12-billion pyramid scam that victimized thousands of investors in Visayas and Mindanao. 

Co, who may face charges of graft and estafa for his alleged involvement in the pyramid scam, said the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation should assess the evidence they have against him.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on November 26 that documentary evidence shows Co’s role in the scam, which was reportedly started by the Aman Futures Group. The group duped 10,000 people using the double-your-money scheme.

The NBI said it will recommend to the investigating panel the filing of graft and estafa charges against Co. 

One of the alleged finance managers of the trading firm, Maria Dona Coyme, said Co sought out investors for the group.

Co said in a local radio interview that this is not true, however, and said he is one of the victims of the group, having lost P30 million in investments. He has filed a complaint against Manuel Amalilio (also known as Mohammad Suffian Saaid), founder of the Aman Futures Group.

Co – who is seeking a congressional post under the Liberal Party in the 2013 midterm elections – said he is being used as a scapegoat, as the NBI is just looking for someone to “drag” into the case. –

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