Teacher, church members victimized by pyramiding scam

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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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  • blainz

    Half a million pesos in retirement benefits gone, my goodness….

    The pattern always starts the same… Friends in on the action telling of some fantastic opportunity. Pyramid schemes need to network their victims since they have to build up memberships fast; preferring churches since they’re institutions of trust.

    The only way to be victimized by pyramid schemes is through greed. If it’s too good to be true, it is. The fool poor prospects always sugarcoat their greed by calling it hope.

  • speedstream2

    Whatever happened to the legacy victims? How many were able to get back their money, if any? Where are the culprits? Are they behind bars, flown to parts unknown or living it up?

  • kilabot

    the love of money is the root of all evil.

  • palakasantayo

     What a perfect crime huh! Quick in and quick out. And where will you find the culprit, out of the country with the loot? Amilillo is laughing all the way to the bank. It shows you that Filipinos can be swayed soooo easily. Don’t have to look that far. Look at our crooked politicians, this is what they do to get re-elected.

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