ZAMBOANGA CITY—Nearly two dozen police officials and personnel in Zamboanga del Sur have already been relieved from their posts by their superiors and asked to explain their roles in the operation of Aman Futures Group, which ran a scheme that duped about 15,000 people of some P12 billion in cash, according to the regional police.
Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles, chief of the Western Mindanao police office, on Monday urged his men to come forward, if they had also been victimized, and help file charges against Aman Futures officials.
“Don’t be ashamed that you were duped; just come out, be counted [and help] in filing of charges against Aman Futures and Trading,” he appealed during an Inquirer interview.
Estilles said many policemen also fell for the scam run by Malaysian Manuel Amalilio and an undetermined number of Filipino cohorts. “I knew there were many of them, even here in Zamboanga City,” he said.
He said he had instructed field commanders to help gather complaints from their men.
Senior police officers and personnel were also summoned to regional headquarters and asked to explain what roles they had in Aman Future’s operation, Estilles said.
“We will leave to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) what possible charges [will be brought up] against our men. We are conducting an investigation to determine if [the suspected offenses] warrant dismissal [from service],” Estilles said.
The NBI was probing senior officers like Zamboanga del Sur police director, Senior Supt. William Manzan; Pagadian City police director, Supt. Kenneth Mission, and 905th Public Safety director, Senior Insp. Oscar Buenaobra.
Earlier, Zamboanga del Sur Board Member Ernesto Mondarte said Buenaobra had coddled prime suspects Fernando and Nimfa Luna and even facilitated their hiding in Dapitan City. Mondarte also cited witnesses who said the couple was hiding in Dakak.
The Inquirer repeatedly tried to contact former Rep. Romeo Jalosjos to get his reaction but he did not return the calls.
“I cannot confirm or deny that. But we are continuously looking for them,” Estilles said in response to Mondarte’s claims.