MANILA, Philippines—Contrary to what some lawmakers said, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) acted “fast enough” in looking into recent massive investment scams, particularly the P12-billion scam perpetuated by Aman Futures Group Philippines in the Visayas and Mindanao, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said on Wednesday.
De Lima branded as “unfair” the comments made by some members of the House committee on banks and financial intermediaries who castigated on Tuesday state regulators and law enforcers for not taking immediate measures to prevent the investment scam from duping more people.
“If there is an agency that acted fast enough in so far as these scams are concerned, it’s NBI,” De Lima told reporters, noting that the “records will bear us out.”
She reiterated that the NBI had initially found it difficult to file cases against Aman executives because no one wanted to come forward and file a complaint against them.
The justice secretary also said the NBI had acted quickly in another investment scam, this time perpetuated by the Rasuman Group, as shown by the immediate arrest of Coco Rasuman, the head of the group that duped people of more than P1 billion of their hard-earned money.
“It’s so easy to be accusing people and finding fault in our law enforcers without necessarily knowing the actual facts,” De Lima said.
This as she said that she believed that the bank accounts of Aman executives that were ordered frozen by the Court of Appeals yielded more than the P200 million that the Anti-Money Laundering Council had told the House committee hearing the other day.
De Lima said that AMLC was still conducting an extensive inquiry and examination of the accounts of 23 Aman executives held in 25 banks and financial institutions.
“It could be more. I don’t think that’s the final figure,” she said.