Witnesses bare paper trail vs mayorBy Nancy C. Carvajal
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A paper trail linking Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co to a multi-billion-peso pyramiding scam has been produced by two witnesses now under the protective custody of the National Bureau of Investigation.
“Mona” and “Nice” (not their real names, both in their 30s) showed deposit slips and computer printout receipts showing their transactions with the Aman Futures Group-Manila, a company allegedly operated by Co.
The two submitted the documents to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) after they filed a complaint against Co and his wife, Priscilla Ann.
The witnesses said Co set up the Aman Futures Group-Manila after the original Aman Futures Group headed by the Malaysian, Aman Amalillio, closed down after taking P12 billion from some 15,000 investors in the Visayas and Mindanao in a fraudulent investment scheme.
They expressed disappointment that authorities have been focusing its investigation solely on the original Aman Futures Group.
“Aman Futures Group-Manila operated by Mayor came after the original Aman Futures of Aman closed shop,” they said.
They said the original Aman deducted a minimum percentage, supposedly for tax payments, from investors, while the Co operation collected tax payments and charged a service fee.
“Apart from the increased deductions, Co’s group also offered a smaller interest,” the witnesses said.
The deposit slip submitted by the witnesses showed large sums of money deposited to accounts under Sammy Co Foods, Sammy Trucking, Page Madarang and Priscilla Ann Co.
The complainants asked that the amount of the deposits not be divulged as it might help Co in tracing their identities.
“We will come out as soon as our case is filed in court,” they said.
Nice said her family is engaged in the construction business and was close to the Co family.
“We invested our family’s money because of our trust in the mayor. He and I talked personally about the investment,” Nice said.