Pagadian mayor questions indictment

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Pagadian City Mayor Samuel S. Co. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The lawyer of Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co on Wednesday questioned the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) proceedings that led to issuance by a court of an arrest warrant against the local executive for alleged involvement in the multibillion-peso investment scam perpetrated by Aman Futures Inc.

Lawyer Trixie Angeles said the DOJ panel of prosecutors “erred” in indicting Co for syndicated estafa, a nonbailable offense, because the mayor was never part of Aman.

“He is neither incorporator nor stockholder. And no evidence was presented showing his participation in the corporation as such,” Angeles said, citing the elements of the crime of syndicated estafa.

Co was charged with collecting a four percent tax on Aman deposits. The lawyer, however, claimed no receipt, law or ordinance was presented at DOJ investigation to prove the accusation.

“The only evidence presented against Mayor Co is the bare allegation by one of the complainants that Aman and the City of Pagadian entered into an agreement regarding the collection of taxes. But no contract was presented.

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