Mayor facing raps for investment scam ordered arrested

The Iligan City Regional Trial Court has ordered the arrest of Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co who is facing syndicated estafa in connection with Aman Futures pyramiding scheme. NBI Deputy Director Virgilio Mendez confirmed Friday that the arrest warrant was issued by Iligan City RTC Branch 1 Judge Alberto Quinto.

Mendez said the NBI tried to serve the arrest order on Thursday and Friday but Co was not at his office and his home.

Co is running for a congressional seat in the First District of Zamboanga del Sur under the Liberal Party wing.

The case against Co stemmed from the complaint filed by Julius Labunog who alleged that his group was defrauded of P29.63 million.

Aside from Co and Manuel Amalilio, facing a case for syndicated estafa is Amalilio”s wife Abigail Pendulas, Aman Futures executives Fernando Luna, Lelian Lim Gan, Eduard Lim, Wilanie Fuentes, Naezelle Rodriguez and Lurix Lopez.

Based on the resolution filed in court by the Department of Justice, respondents were fully aware that Aman Futures was unable to secure the proper authorization from the Securities and Exchange Commission to engage in commodity futures trading, management of funds, or investments of any other kind.

The DoJ also noted that Co awarded Aman Futures with a temporary business permit even before the firm submitted all the documentary requirements needed by the local government. the DoJ also ruled that Aman, in fact, never completed the submission of all documents it had promised to submit, including the secondary license it never obtained from the SEC.

The DoJ further stated that Co’s act of entering into an agreement with Aman Futures to tax each investment at 4 percent was merely intended to make it appear that the firm’s transactions were legitimate and that Aman Futures was engaged in legitimate business.

The DOJ said that because of the acts of Co, investors relied on his representations on behalf of Aman Futures and led them to believe that the firm’s business was legitimate.

Philippines Daily Inquirer