MANILA -- The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to immediately probe the involvement of three ranking officers of Police Regional Office (PRO) 12 (Soccsksargen) in a PHP2-billion investment scam.
In a press conference Tuesday, DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also ordered the immediate relief of PCol. Manuel M. Lukban Jr., chief of PRO-12 directorial staff; Col. Raul Supiter, General Santos City police director; and PLt. Col. Henry P. Biñas.
PNP Chief PGen. Oscar Albayalde has already directed the PRO-12 and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to conduct an immediate investigation on the scam that has allegedly victimized a sizeable number of PRO-12 personnel, their families, relatives, and friends.
Malaya said this is necessary to prevent them from possibly interfering and influencing the conduct of a formal investigation on the Police Paluwagan Movement (PPM) investment scam that is being allegedly run by the three officers and some uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the General Santos City Police Office.
“Ako’y nababahala sa balitang ito. Mga pulis, kabilang ang ilang matataas na ranggong pulis, ang umano’y nagpapatakbo ng investment scam. Inaatasan ko si PNP Chief Albayalde at ang CIDG na agad itong imbestigahan at aksyunan nang wala nang mabiktima pa at para managot ang maysala sa batas (I am deeply worried about this news. Police, including ranking officials, are allegedly running the investment scam. I have ordered PNP Chief Albayalde and the CIDG to immediately probe and act on this to ensure that there will be no more victim and the perpetrators will be held liable),” Malaya told reporters quoting Año’s statement.
Citing the initial report from PRO-12 Director, PBrig. Gen. Elisio T. Rasco, the PPM investment scam has attracted various sectors of the community in the region, including prosecutors, judges, entrepreneurs, and ordinary civilians due to the “very tempting big interest offered by the group.”
The PPM allegedly offers a 60-percent interest rate every 15 days for the money invested by the victims.
In a span of a few months, police personnel involved in the scam have allegedly acquired multiple assets. They allegedly issued checks that bounced due to insufficiency of funds in the PPM bank accounts. Some 30 police personnel and civilians are allegedly involved in the scam.
Malaya said the DILG chief has warned other PROs of the scam.
“I want the other regions to know of this scam so that they do not fall prey to a similar scheme. Let this serve as a warning to them that the DILG-PNP will not tolerate any wrong doing among our ranks,” Año added. (PNA)
Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler