De Lima warns coddlers of Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co
MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila De Lima warned that anyone coddling Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co who has a pending warrant of arrest for syndicated estafa will also face criminal prosecution.
Co is facing a case for syndicated estafa in connection with the operations of Aman Futures, the group involved in the biggest Ponzi scheme in the country.
Last Thursday, the Iligan City Regional Trial Court Branch 1 already issued a warrant for his arrest. The complaint was based on the case filed by investor Julius Labunog who claims that his group was duped by Co and Aman Futures for a combined amount of P29.63 million.
“Anyone who would safe keep him or would assist or help him evade the service of the warrant of arrest can be held liable. That is obstruction of justice,” De Lima said.
Even if the lawyers questioned the issuance of the warrant of arrest, De Lima said pending its decision, “the arrest warrant is subsisting so it has to be served as soon as possible by the appropriate agencies like the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police.”
The NBI last week said they served the warrant at Co’s office and house but the mayor, who is running for a congressional seat under the Liberal Party wing, could not be found.
“It seems he already received advance information [on the arrest warrant],” De Lima said but ruled out the possibility that he sneaked out of the country.
“There is an existing lookout bulletin. Anytime he’s seen at the airport, he will have to be detained,” De Lima said.
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