De Lima: NBI acted promptly on Aman, Rasuman pyramid scams


Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

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.

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  • tata_boy

    when there is smoke there is fire, bakit kinakailangan munang may mag-reklamo bago magusisa kung may kalokohan na nangyayari, tulad ng may mga fratmen na nakunan ng cctv na nang-gulpi sa makati, bakit di kayo kumilos para magdusa itong mga fratmen, huwag mong sabihing kailangan may reklamo bago kayo kumilos, nakakahiya naman kayo. 

  • John_Galt_II

    This practice of waiting for someone to file a complain should stop. They should take the initiative in filing cases against criminals. There is no statute that says the government agencies can not file cases where there are no complainants.

    • Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

      “This practice of waiting for someone to file a complain should stop.”

      That is true. One way to do this is that we surrender our right to privacy, and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Which means, every action any citizen would do may be investigated by any government arm within its power, with as minimal as circumstantial facts.

      Take for instance you, withdrawing money from the atm, and then passing by a known crack/meth house on the way home or to work. Both circumstances, coupled together, albeit remote contains the possibility that the money you withdrew goes to buying drugs in the crack house. And so investigation may be in order.

      The law already provides for crimes where there are no victims. And we have enough laws. To some, it is already too intrusive, yet to some it is never enough. You cannot expect it to be perfect, just as part of society will one day fall victim to another ponzi scheme once this fiasco is over. In fact, even in the US Madoff was able to dupe people even though it had great financial monitoring bodies working at the time.

      • Roseth


      • Pulokoy

         sarcasm to the highest level , Priceless !!

      • Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

        Oh my.

        I didn’t intend it to be sarcastic in any way. If it did come out sounding that way, I apologize.

        I can do sarcasm (and oh yes I can), but the tone in my head when I was composing this didn’t seem sarcastic, in any way. I just offer an alternative assumption on John’s first sentence.

        Anyway, thanks Jhun for calling it out.

  • Isko

     “NBI ‘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…'”  Sounds good, but “fast enough” does not guarantee swift justice for the victims and conviction of the guilty parties. 

  • willbillywilly

    How about acting on the 12 persons charged for stock manipulation on Calata before they withdraw their cash & flee the country

  • Horst Manure

    You don’t need proof or any sort of evidence or proof to say a crime has been committed in the Philippines just take your rubbish to the Caughts and some RTC lawyer will process it and press charges and his superiors will sign it off for processing. 
     Besides advertising 110% return  or what ever the ridiculous % return they were claiming should be false advertising allowing some Government body to investigate or aren’t the Government bodies that switched on?. 

  • batangsulpok

    Puwede itong itulad sa isang tao na pinatay pero dahil walang nagrereklamo kaya case closed, nakakatawa talaga itong si de Lima, abogado ba ito?

    • tata_boy

      inutil ang tingin ko sa kanya…..

    • Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

      “Puwede itong itulad sa isang tao na pinatay pero dahil walang nagrereklamo kaya case closed.”

      Ummmm. technically, nuong nag investiga yung mga governing agencies, like SEC, NBI etc, ang mga respondents (na ngayon ay victima) were consenting to the idea of the act, at the time of question.

      It is like sodomy which is punishable under our laws. Pero pag may dalwang bakla na nag do-do, and both want or consent to it, we can’t say that law is being broken (among other things.)

      A person killed has a victim and so, without complaint, the state has the obligation to defend the right of the victim.

      “nakakatawa talaga itong si de Lima,”

      ahahaha oo. itsura pa lang, natatawa na ako. pero pag tinignan mo ng matagal, parang nakasusuka.  bakit kaya.

      yes, i know its personal, pero since celebrity naman sya, then its open season.

      “abogado ba ito?”

      So I heard. Candidato sa CJSC kailangan abogado.

  • $26606290

    Acted prompty on Aman?  Sorry, not true.  Reacted promptly, maybe. Your personnel responsible for Dipolog and the surrounding areas should have caugth wind of the scam before it exploded.  They should have suspected something “fishy” was going on with the ridiculous gains the investors were reaping.
    Or perhaps,  they too,  were in on it.

  • $23257130

    weh di nga, de singko unang una sa presscon. ppppwwweeeehhh kadiri

  • wishfull thinking

    Considering na mga attorney sila, mga magagaling na mga investigador, mga pinadadala sa ibang bansa para matutuo ng advances sa criminal investigations……wala man lang silang kahina-hinala na may nangyayaring kalokohan gayong lahat na yata ng maliliit na business man ay nag-huhulog na sa Aman futures at kitang kita pa nga ang mga pila sa labas ng office? Anu ba ang NBI? Gagalaw lang ba ito kung may nag sasabi ng krimen? Walang ka-kusa-kusa na gumalaw sa sarili niyang paraan? Kailangan pa nilang utusan? Eh di buwagin na lang yan kasi wala naman palang galing sa Inbestigasyon eh! Nauna daw nila inasikaso ang Rasuman…sus….eh 1.5 billion lang yun eh….ang AMAN ay 12 billion pesos!

  • EdgarEdgar

    Powerless. That was the best excuse Leila de Lima could come up with when the pyramid finally came crashing down. Her department was alerted of the scam and was tipped off by Ms. Lourdes Quisumbing of Pagadian City’s Chamber of Commerce as early as April 2012. Ms. Quisumbing is this country’s former DepEd chief. DOJ and NBI have it on good authority that something was in fact questionable. And yet they did not dig deeper. And yet they did not enlist the assistance of AMLC to look into Aman Futures fund movements without having to freeze it. And yet none of NBI’s accounting forensics were called to determine the real financial score of Aman Futures. From April 2012 to November 2012, DOJ and NBI had eight (8) long months to act on this and stop the con men in their tracks. Because of inaction, Leila de Lima is today reduced to feigning powerlessness and scapegoating the Pagadian City mayor. The same DOJ chief who came up with the ludicrous theory of terrorist groups being behind the pyramid scams, which was just as quickly scoffed off by the AFP. It’s high time we hold our regulators and law enforcement agencies to a higher standard.

    • WeAry_Bat

       “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.”

      Does it mean they had to wait for the pyramid to fall or when people no longer received their promised dues?  The financial gymnastics is already illegal!

      Isn’t this like waiting for a man with a pistol to shoot the victim first??! 

      • EdgarEdgar

        Exactly. Leila de Lima can reiterate all she wants, but her glaring incompetence and criminal negligence are too much to escape public scrutiny.

        It’s like BFAD saying we’ll only take action against those Chinese drugstores if someone dies of those Chinese skin whitening pills or gets burned by Chinese skin whitening cream.

  • Horst Manure

    De Lima is on de top of de pyramid of Just US and should be de throned debate closed. 

  • Your_King

    NBI acted promptly yet the mastermind is gone out of the country. Billions are missing. Many have been scammed. Maybe the DOJ should be blamed and not the NBI.

  • wakats

    Not fast enough Leila, even if the DOJ was allegedly tipped of the scam as early as April, 2012.

    The P200M you’re boasting as having been frozen is peanuts as compared to the total haul of P12Bn.

    Sec. de Lima is right – the NBI should not be blamed – it’s the chief of the DOJ for incompetence.  

  • Jon

    Nagpapatawa ka ba Daldalima?
    Nakatakas na ang mga ulo, dinadakip na ng mga tao ang mga dating ahente, at at iilang libo ang nalimasan ng kanilang mga ipon?
    Sa pa-presscon ka lang di nahuli at kinikilig ka tuwing may hawak kang mike sa kamay. 

  • disqusted0fu

    apparently it wasnt fast enough. thats why the scam wasnt prevented and the mastermind scam artist got away.

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