Mayor linked to Aman scam by 2 complainantsBy Christine Avendaño, Nancy Carvajal
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has in its custody two complainants who have linked Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co and his wife to the multibillion peso Aman Futures group pyramiding scam, a bureau official said.
The official, who spoke to the Philippine Daily Inquirer on condition of anonymity, said the two complainants, whose names he did not reveal, claimed the mayor and his wife were directly involved in the investment scam that duped thousands of investors in the Visayas and Mindanao.
NBI director Nonnatus Rojas confirmed that two complainants, both investors in Aman Futures, submitted their statement to the NBI late afternoon Wednesday but declined to reveal details of their statement.
“We have their statements but we have yet to validate them,” Rojas said in an interview.
The source privy to the statement of the witnesses, said Co and his wife were said to have put up a separate company that operated like an authorized representative or sub branch of Aman Futures group Philippines.
“The company was called Aman Futures Group—Manila to differentiate it from the original Aman Futures Group,” the source said. He did not explain how these entities operated. It was implied that investors probably did not notice the difference between the two groups.
The complainants, the source said, had checks that showed they deposited money in the accounts of Co and his wife.
The two said they decided to come forward and seek protection from the government because they feared for their lives.
Investigators suspect up to 15,000 people, among them local government officials and law enforcers, lost up to P12 billion in the investment scam that promised to double their money.
Meanwhile, 21 policemen and two fire officers in Pagadian City filed a joint complaint of syndicated estafa against the Aman Futures Group Philippines.
The joint complaint was submitted to a special 14-member panel of prosecutors formed by the Department of Justice, bringing to seven the number of complaints against Aman Futures, according to Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Edna Valenzuela.
The policemen victimized by the scam ranged from rank-and-file patrolmen to high ranking officers—some investing as high as P4.1 million.
The 23 law enforcers were: SPO4 Garlie Macario Diamante Angelada, SPO1 Edgardo Figuracion II, SPO1 Dexter Dalena, SPO1 Rex Barnido, SPO1 Albrt Villa, SPO1 Charlemagne Lopez, SPO1 Joy Figuracion, SPO1 Suharto Calalagan, SPO1 Jimm Manuel Pactol, SPO1 Adonai Durangparang, PO3 Baden Powell Beltran, PO3 Imelda Dumon, PO3 Marcelo Andale, PO3 Grace Mantos Fosgate, PO3 Ramil Tormis, PO3 Allan Colipano, PO3 Buenaventura Fernando, PO3 Dindo Yap, PO3 Albert Leonardo, PO3 Melanie Andale Sermon. Fire Officer 3 Roy Anthony Padua, FO2 Mocalidin Enca, and PO1 Philip John Baculao.