Another senior official of the Philippine National Police has been sacked in connection with the investment scam that victimized thousands of people in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles, Zamboanga Peninsula police director, on Thursday ordered the relief of Senior Supt. William Manzan, Zamboanga del Sur police chief, for his supposed failure to comply with Estilles’ order to warn residents of the province about the operations of Aman Futures Group Phils. Inc.
He designated Senior Supt. Romeo Uy as Manzan’s temporary replacement.
Estilles on Tuesday issued relief orders for nine other policemen, including the Pagadian City police chief, Senior Supt. Kenneth Mission.
“They were relieved for neglect of duty. We have been telling them so many times to investigate the group and to discourage residents from investing,” Estilles told reporters over the phone.
“Some policemen apparently earned big when (Aman Futures) was just starting. That prompted the others to also invest their money to the company,” he said.
The police official said some PNP members even applied for loans from private lending firms “hoping that they would also earn from (Aman Futures) like others did.”
Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., PNP spokesperson, said the PNP was also checking if police funds were used by its personnel who also supposedly fell victim to the scam.
Cerbo said at least 53 PNP members, most of them assigned in Zamboanga del Sur police office, had put in their money in Aman Futures.
Those who secured Fernando “Nonoy” Luna, a former janitor and driver who managed Aman Futures, and his wife brought them to Dapitan City on Sept. 26 “were assets of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp),” Zamboanga del Sur board member Ernesto Mondarte told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Saying he got the information from affidavits that witnesses submitted to the NBI, Mondarte said Luna’s brother, Robert, was “connected” with the Isafp.
Robert Luna is a personal security detail and driver of former congressman and convicted rapist Romeo Jalosjos, Mondarte said.
Mondarte said SPO2 Rey Chang, among the police personnel recently ordered relieved, delivered cash with a certain Bugang to the Lunas in Dakak Beach Resort. The resort in Dapitan City is owned by Jalosjos.
Acting Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
(ARMM) has ordered a probe of reports that some local government units (LGUs) in Lanao del Sur had invested their internal revenue allotments (IRAs) in Aman Futures.
Hataman said the DILG in the ARMM would look into the matter.
Text messages have been circulating, alleging that some elected officials, not only in Lanao del Sur but also in Zamboanga del Sur, used their IRAs as investments in Aman Futures.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas on Thursday asked treasurers of LGUs in Lanao del Sur and Zamboanga del Sur to make available the financial documents of their respective LGUs for examination.
“This is to verify reports that public funds may have been used to invest in Aman Futures,” Roxas said in an e-mailed statement.
He also approved the administrative relief of the PNP personnel, saying the move was intended to “avoid chances of whitewash in the ongoing police investigation.”
“This scam has been perpetrated beginning as early as February this year and there have been very loud indicators that this scam was happening,” Roxas said.
“The fact that there was no report (sent)… from the city (police station), to the province, to the region (and) all the way to (PNP main) headquarters indicates, at the very least, negligence or laziness,” he added.
Besides Manzan and Mission, 21 other policemen who allegedly invested in Aman Futures had been “recalled back to camp,” Roxas said.
“This is to ensure that they do not use their authority to exact revenge against Aman Futures and its representatives,” the interior secretary said.