Around P888 million worth of investments were allegedly collected in the last several months by pyramiding investment firm Aman Futures Group Philippines Inc. through its agents based in nearby South Cotabato province.
Timmy Rejano, supervising agent of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)–Region 12, said Thursday they uncovered the multimillion investments following a search on Wednesday afternoon on a house in Barangay Poblacion in T’boli that supposedly served as the main base of the Aman Group in the area.
He said the house, which is owned by Pastor Rolando Lilio of the United Alliance Church, appeared to have operated as a branch of the Aman Group and with the pastor’s children Roda Lilio-Corpuz and Girlie Lilio-Paner acting as its agents.
“Based on the bank statements and other documents we recovered, the investment accounts handled by Roda and Girlie for the Aman Group reached P888 million,” the official told a local radio station.
Rejano said they conducted the search based on a warrant issued early Wednesday afternoon by Judge Roberto Ayco of the Regional Trial Court Branch 26 in Surallah town in South Cotabato.
Acting on orders from NBI-12 chief Lawyer Angelito Magno, he said they applied for the search warrant based on the complaints filed at their office in Koronadal City last Monday by five victims of Aman Group’s Ponzi-type investment scheme in T’boli town.
The official said the search, which was witnessed by barangay officials and T’boli municipal police station personnel, yielded “stunning” evidences that detailed direct connections and transactions between the Lilio children and fugitive Aman Group founder Manuel Amalilio.
He said the specifically found various acknowledgement receipts, payment slips, bank deposit slips and transaction statements bearing the names of Roda Lilio-Corpuz, Girlie Lilio-Paner and the Aman Group.
The official said there were several summary cash transactions and deposits slips amounting to P200,000 that appeared to be collections from local investors, who were lured into the pyramiding investment scheme with promised returns of as high as 52 percent.
“There were bank statements and deposit slips showing huge amounts of money transfers and deposits to the personal accounts of Roda and Girlie. It shows that they personally gained from these transactions,” Rejano said.
They also found copies of speeches given by the Aman Group founder and correspondence detailing a supposed complaint filed by Roda Lilio-Corpuz and Girlie Lilio-Paner against Aman executive Fernando Luna for the latter’s alleged failed investments in real estate using the company’s funds, he said.
During the search, Rejano said only the elder Lilio was present at the house and that Roda Lilio-Corpuz and Girlie Lilio-Paner had previously left T’boli along with their families.
“We received information that Girlie is now in Pagadian City while Roda is still in General Santos City,” he said.
Rejano said they will immediately process the evidences against the two Aman Group agents for the filing of appropriate charges.
Aside from the initial five complainants, he said they are scheduled to meet with another group in T’boli town on Friday.
“Based on our latest count, there are more than 300 people who were victimized by this group in T’boli alone,” Rejano said.
As for the elder Lilio, he said they were still evaluating his connection with the Aman Group “but he was possibly aware of its operations.”
“In fact, we found some of the documents in his room,” said Rejano, referring to the pastor.
Rejano reiterated that all charges in connection with the case will be filed at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Manila and not at the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office.
Several top officials of the Aman Group led by its fugitive founder Manuel Amalilio, who has reportedly fled to Malaysia, are presently facing charges of syndicated estafa based on the initial complaints filed some of their victims in Pagadian.