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Pimentel seeks probe on failure of gov’t bodies to prevent scams

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Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III has filed a resolution calling for a Senate inquiry into why government regulatory bodies failed to prevent financial frauds that have victimized thousands of people, many of them common wage earners.

Pimentel’s Senate Resolution No. 908 proposes an investigation by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and its committee on trade and commerce, which would also look into the reported involvement of public officials and the investment of public funds in the illegal schemes.

“[The] stiff penalty provided under our criminal laws for syndicated estafa and the existence of government regulatory agencies such as the [Securities and Exchange Commission] and the [Department of Trade and Industry], among others, have failed to deter the proliferation of corporations, partnerships, associations or persons operating illegal investment schemes in the country,” Pimentel said in his resolution.

Pimentel, a re-electionist senator, cited the scams allegedly perpetrated by Aman Futures Group, Philippines, and Visioner 2020 Trader’s International in Pagadian City and the Coco Rasuman Investments in Lanao Del Sur and the Parent-Teachers Pyramid Scam in Quezon City, “which have collectively victimized at least 15,000 investors all over the country of over P12 billion in funds.”

“[It] was reported by the media that local government officials where these fraudulent operations were carried out may not only be involved in these illegal investment schemes but worse, they may have used the internal revenue allotment of their respective local goernment units as their personal investment in the said fraudulent schemes,” Pimenetal said.

Pimentel said the reported malversation or plunder of public funds “underscores the need for the legislature, as holder of the so-called power of the purse, to recommend the filing o appropriate charges with the Office of the Ombudsman, should it find that there is probable cause against certain local government officials.”

“It is also imperative that an investigation on these illegal investment schemes be conducted to determine possible loopholes in existing laws and institutional lapses that have allowed these fraudulent schemes to flourish so that the legislature may enact remedial measures that would prevent the rise of similar fraudulent activities,” Pimentel said.

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Tags: fraud , News , Politics , Ponzi scheme , Senate

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDXEVEFHW2ZT5VWHDWBNM6XGE4 RyanE

    Hmm.. I think it’s a good resolution. Just make sure that the role of LGUs will be investigated as well. 

  • EdgarEdgar

    Talking Points:

    1. DTI was alerted of the scam by Pagadian Chamber of Commerce before April 2012
    2. DTI issued a word of caution to Pagadian residents by radio as early as April 2012
    3. Other government agencies were similarly alerted by April 2012
    4. The house of card came crashing down by November 2012

    Between April to November of 2012, the government had eight (8) long months to get their acts together, get the real financial score of Aman Futures with the help of AMLC, get the Aman officers invited for questioning, get the necessary cases filed and get the bad people behind bars. And yet none of that happened. Noynoy and his administration could have dismantled the pyramid early on and unmasked the Malaysian conman for what he truly is. As it turns, Leila de Lima’s purported powerlessness and Noynoy’s feigned impotence are just shameless excuses for not acting soon enough. On the contrary, SEC, DOJ, AMLC and the other government agencies had eight (8) long months to do something about this. Even Senator Escudero now places the blame squarely on the door of AMLC for ignoring the big red flags. Whichever way you look at it, eight (8) long months is a lot of time to dilly-dally. Eight (8) long months is just too much time to have done nothing.

  • huseng_batute

    Go go go!!!

    Isa sa mga problema ay yung kailangan pang may complainant para imbestigahan ang isang firm.

    May ini-report ako dati sa DTI (via their Facebook page)  na possible pyramiding scam (GoldClub50).  Ang sagot ba naman sa akin, mag-file daw ako ng formal complaint.  

    Tinanong ko kung bakit kailangan ko pang mag-file, samantalang trabaho nila na protektahan ang consumers.  Kailangan daw na may complainant na mag-a-attend ng hearings.

    Bakit ako ang mag-a-attend ng hearings samantalang hindi naman ako ang biktima.  I’m just reporting a possible scam. 

    So lumalabas na papasok lang ang DTI pag mayroon nang nag-complain.  Na mangyayari lang pag nag-collapse na yung pyramid.  Wala namang participant dyan na aangal hangga’t kumikita sila.

  • Serom

    Senator Pimentel:  as if you are not from the south.  You knew pretty well that even public officials there occupying high positions are investors.  So who is brave enough to stop the scammers when high officials are involve?

  • speedstream2

    This is one probe that needs to be done asap, if only to highlight this bureaucratic ‘file-a-complaint-first-before-we-can-act syndrome’, especially among so-called regulatory bodies. Well, why call them ‘regulatory’ bodies if they can’t or won’t act on violations of applicable regulations? Are they in place to make life difficult for hardworking taxpayers but easy for dubious entities? 

  • kilabot

    easy answer. government is itself the biggest scam.
    with ignorant, immature and illiterate electorates (includes candidates), scamming is peanuts.

  • alex_diaz2014

    Kelangan pa bang iprobe yan? SEC yung cohorts ng mga pyramids at mga networking scams na yan…

  • Camillo

    Sen. Pimentel: huwag niyong isisi sa gobyerno ang katangahan at kasakiman ng mga tao.

    Huwag kayong mamulitika sa pamamagitan ng pagbebe-baby sa mga mamamayan. Hayaan niyo silang maghirap dahil sa katangahan nila. Paulit-ulit na ang mga balitang scam tapos patol pa sila nang patol.

  • otoling

    Tama si Aquilino III, to make the probe.

    Kaya ka nga nagbabayad tayo ng mga taxes, fees, fees, buwis, buwis ay para ang gobyerno ay protektahan tayo sa mga ganitong mga anomalyas, scams, pandaraya, kulang sa timbang, product proteksun, consumer proteksyun, atbp, atbp., atbp., atbp.

    Pero, pero ano ang nangyayari sa ating gobyerno?  Wala.  Gatasan lamang ng mga tao empleyados ng mga departamentos na dapat gawin ang kanilang trabaho sa mga taombayan.  Nakikisabay pasila sa kasamaan tulad ng mga mayors, polis, atbp.

    Ipapaka-diin ko, trabaho ito ng gobyertno natin ang pangalagaan tayo at tayo naman ay pangalagaan natin ang pagbabayad sa mga buwis natin.

    Kung ikaw ay nagbibigay sa simbahan mo para ka ma-assure na mapupunta ka sa langit (nila) pag patay kana, ang gobyerno natin ay hinde ganuon.  Ang trabaho ng gobyerno natin ay tayo ay pangalagaan nila habang tayo ay buhay at nasa sa lupa. 

    Sa langit, walang paki-alam ang gobyerno natin – hinde tulad ng ibang sekta.   

  • ThePattern

    Koko tumahimik ka na lang, kung iniisip mo pampapogi ito para sa reelection bid mo, good luck na lang.  Matalo ka sana sa 2013 dahil wala kang kwenta.

  • Your_King

    The Philippine economy is supposedly growing but with Aquino’s failure to prevent scams its useless. Whatever growth that the country has is sucked right out by scams not to mention the corruption that is still heavily present in the Philippines and the government.

  • marionics

    hay naku koko di na kita iboboto dahil anti rh ka he he

  • calixto909


  • nti_boohaya

    Useless ang mga probe probe na yan.  Ilang beses ng may nangyaring ganito pero hanggang ngayon wala pang nakukulong.  Swift justice is what’s needed to deter criminals.  Kung usod pagong o walang nangyayari sa sistema ng hustisiya natin ay talagang malakas loob ng mga kriminal dahil wala namang mangyayari sa kanila mapa illegal logging, drugs, pandarambung o khowrhapsiyon man. Mabuti pa mga dilis e nahahatulan pero mga pating at buwaya e patuloy ang ligaya.

  • disqusted0fu

    riding the trend to gain popularity and exposure, this is all this is. you cant prevent scams because the Aquino government is a big scam itself.

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