Teacher, church members victimized by pyramiding scam
A RETIRED teacher was hospitalized, her health affected by worries about how to get a refund from her investment in the Aman Futures Group Philipines Inc. A married couple ended up quarreling.
These were just some of the cases mentioned by Bishop Antonio Nercua Ablon, diocesan bishop of Pagadian City of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) in the aftermath of a “get rich quick” deal that turned out to be a scam.
In a phone interview, Bishop Ablon told Cebu Daily News that more than 10,000 people were victims of the investment scheme which the Securities and Exchange ordered stopped.
Most of them were his parishioners, Ablon said.
The pyramid scheme was disclosed by Interior and Local Governments Secretary Mar Roxas in a press conference in Cebu last Friday.
Ablon said the retired public school teacher in Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur had invested nearly half a million pesos of her retirement benefits in the scheme.
She was an active church member but stopped attending activities because of her depression over losing her hard-earned money.
“It gave people false hope…The others borrowed money just to invest,” Ablon said.
He encouraged their pastors to conduct counseling sessions for the victims.
“Life must go on. They should not lose hope, they still have a future,” he said.
Interior and Local Governments Secretary Mar Roxas said he was coordinating with local police and the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI- 7) to locate Manuel Amalilio, chairman of the Pasay-based trading firm Aman Futures Group Philippines Inc.
The NBI traced Amalilio’s address to 99 Espina Village B. Rodriguez Extension in Cebu City and placed it under surveillance.
He remains out of sight.
Other persons involved in the scam were identified as Cebuana Lelian Lim Gan, Fernando Luna of Pagadian City, Eduard Lim, Naezelle Rodriguez, William Fuentes and Lurix Lopez (not Hazel Lopez as earlier reported).
Secretary Roxas said there were many complainants, but at this stage the case has not “matured” to the point of filing a case.
He said Amalilio could already be in Malaysia by now based on some reports.
Roxas said he is coordinating with Justice Secretary Leila De Lima for a hold departure order to be issued against Amalilio and others involved in the scam.
A joint task force with the PNP will be formed to catch Amalilio, who was described as a Filipino of Malyasian descent. Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus
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