Aman pyramid investor, family escape ambush-slay try in Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A doctor who was reportedly an investor in the Aman Futures pyramiding scam, his wife, son and bodyguard escaped unscathed when they were fired upon past 12 a.m. Monday in Barangay (village) Labangon this city.
Dr. Rico Medina Jr., 57; his wife Arlene, 56; son Benjie; and bodyguard Alan Duque were on their way home riding a Toyota Fortuner (plate no. 7CV9954) when they were fired upon by three men along the Woodberry Drive, Acacia St., Barangay Labangon, Cebu City.
Senior Superintendent Mariano Natu-el Jr., Cebu City police director, said the vehicle of Medina was blocked by a Toyota Vios and then three men holding guns alighted from the Vios.
Benjie who was driving the Fortuner at the time, pulled back the vehicle from the Vios but bumped against a Toyota Innova.
Benjie, however, managed to maneuver their vehicle, overtake the Vios and speed away from the two vehicles, causing the three men to pursue them with gunfire.
Natu-el said Medina’s vehicle had at least 10 bullet holes but none of the passengers were hit.
The police recovered five empty shells from a .45 caliber gun at the crime scene.
Senior Inspector Chuck Barandog, Punta Princesa police station chief, said there was also an empty shell from a .45 caliber gun found inside Medina’s vehicle.
As the Medinas proceeded to their residence in M and A West City Homes Subdivision in Barangay Labangon, they contacted an acquaintance, Senior Police Officer 1 Arnold Bocayong of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group here, to inform him of the attack.
In turn, Bocayang contacted Barandog and the police mobile patrol division.
During follow up operations, the police recovered three abandoned vehicles, a Toyota Vios (with its plate marked ‘For Registration’), a Toyota Innova (YJU894) and a Toyota Grandia (plate number YEA493).
The first two vehicles were found in Happy Valley, Barangay Labangon, at around 3 a.m. Monday and the Grandia was found at past 7 a.m., also on Monday, on F. Llamas St., Barangay San Nicolas, Cebu City.
The police also recovered a .45 caliber pistol inside the Vios and three more handguns inside the Grandia. Also recovered from the Grandia were a silencer, a handcuff and a packaging tape.
A police official, who asked for anonymity, said Medina was an investor in the P12-billion Aman Futures scam that has duped at least 15,000 persons.
News reports quoted Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co as saying that an Ozamiz-based businessman by the name of Dr. Rico Medina had confronted Manuel K. Amalilio, the 32-year-old founder of the Aman Futures Group Phils. Inc., whom Medina had seen in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
The Medina family reportedly owns the Medina College in Ozamis City and two other schools in Pagadian City and Misamis Occidental.
Meanwhile, Natu-el said the police were looking into two possible angles, kidnapping and a murder attempt. However, he refused to elaborate.
The three vehicles suspected to have been used in the shooting and Medina’s vehicle were kept at the Cebu City Police Office while the police were still conducting their investigation.
A lookout bulletin issued by the Bureau of Investigation in 2012 against 38 persons allegedly behind the Aman Futures scam included the name Rico Medina.