5 Aman executives surrender to NBI PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 15:17

Five officials of the Aman Futures Group Philippines, Inc. (Aman Futures), the group responsible for the more than P12-billion pyramiding scheme,surrendered yesterday to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The NBI is the Philippines’ premier investigating body and is an attached agency of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

DOJ Secretary Leila M. De Lima on Monday identified the five as Leila Lim Gan, Edmund G. Lim, Wilanie Fuentes, Nazelle Rodriguez and Lurix Lopez.

In a press conference, De Lima said the five have expressed willingness to cooperate and already executed affidavits.

“What they are sharing is the flow of the investments and assets of the firm,” De Lima said.

The House of Representatives had earlier said it will investigate the multibillion-peso pyramiding scam perpetrated by Aman Futures Trading Phils. Inc. in Mindanao and the Visayas.

The inquiry was prompted by two resolutions asking the House to take remedial measures to prevent similar fraudulent activities from happening again.

The Aman Futures scam has reportedly victimized more than 100,000 investors, many of them public school teachers, soldiers and policemen.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and his brother Maximo, who represents the party-list group Abante Mindanao, introduced Resolution No. 2890, while Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara authored Resolution No. 2897.

“There is a need to look into Aman operations and determine the extent of the damage it had caused and the number of Filipinos it was able to deceive in order to determine how to prevent companies like this from existing and prevent further pyramiding scams from happening,” the Rodriguez brothers said.

They said the inquiry should also focus on the possible negligence of government agencies supposed to detect and prevent such fraudulent activities.

The two congressmen suggested that the House invite, among other agencies, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and local government agencies in areas where Aman Futures operated.

As early as October this year, the two said the SEC already issued a cease and desist order against Aman Futures, warning the public not to invest in it.

They said the group listed its directors as 32-year-old Malaysian Manuel Amalilio, Fernando Luna, Lelian Lim, Edward Lim, William Fuentes, Naezelle Rodriguez, and Lurix Lopez.

Among Aman victims are retired school supervisor Cristituto Potayre of Pagadian City, a soldier who put in P300,000; Pagadian City resident Marcia Agueda who lost P1.3 million, and a 53-year-old housewife who lost her husband’s loan of P700,000, they said.

They added that there are reports that Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co could be instrumental in the operation of Aman Futures in his city because when the firm shut down operations, he allegedly assured the people they could get their money back and had allegedly announced that “all those with original receipts would be issued checks.”

More victims of the Aman Futures investment scam continued to file complaints at the DOJ even as a special investigating panel set a hearing on Nov. 27 after several suspects were summoned.

The new complaint for syndicated estafa against Amalilio and at least 61 others was endorsed to the office of Prosecutor General Claro Arellano last Tuesday by the Western Mindanao regional office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police, where most of the policemen are assigned.

Valenzuela explained that the new complaint would be treated separately from the six earlier complaints already undergoing preliminary investigation and set for hearing.

The 38 initial respondents were directed to answer the charges by filing counter-affidavits during the hearing.

The other suspects were identified as Prescilla Ann Co, Nimfa Luna, Rico Medina, Dhurwin Wenceslao, Reggie Luna, Araceli Pasco, Marilou Caballero, Shiela Luna Lasaca, Alfredo Aspira, PO2 Ariel Real, Ernesto Luna, Police Officer 3 Rey Chang, Edward Amao, Maria Donna Coyme, Araceli Pasco Julian, Darwin Luna, Toto Caballero, Amay Caballero, Eric Lasaca, Judy Amarao, Edna Dalena, Dickens Dalena, Eva Dalena, Isojo Casil, Edna Caballero, Patrick Ceniza, Diosdado Mag-aso, Frederick Mag-aso, Leonita Duhaylungsod, Angelo Duhaylungsod, and Roger Tenajeros.

The NBI regional office traced the whereabouts of Aman Futures officials who would be immediately arrested once the courts issue the warrants of arrest.

Lawyer Manuel Almendares, NBI Western Mindanao regional director, said Justice Secretary de Lima had ordered the immediate arrest of the suspects.

“We are zeroing in on the whereabouts of the suspects, in preparation for the issuance of warrants of arrest later because cases against the Aman Futures officials have been filed in our unit in Pagadian City. After preliminary investigation, most probably the warrant of arrest will be issued by the court,” Almendares said.

Task Force Aman formed by Western Mindanao police director Chief Superintendent Napoleon Estilles had also prepared for the pursuit operation together with the NBI.

Almendares said Amalilio and the other Aman Futures officials are the principal suspects.

He said about seven incorporators of the company are still in hiding in the country while Amalilio had reportedly slipped out and is now in Malaysia.

Mayor Celso Lobregat said they received reports that Amalilio once stayed along Governor Camins Road and owns a house there.