The arrest last Sunday of former Pagadian City mayor Samuel Co and his wife trains the spotlight back on the sordid case of the P12-billion Aman Futures scam that was said to have bilked some 15,000 investors, mostly in Mindanao and the Visayas. The case, still unresolved at this time with the principal accused having jumped the border to Malaysia, not only involved billions of pesos but also many prominent personalities, among them military personnel and politicians such as Co and his wife.
By Randy David
Scams tell us a lot about the nature of our society—more than about the gullibility, greed, or ignorance of our people. Sociologists try to understand how these criminal schemes work, not by figuring out the motives and interests of the individuals they victimize, but by determining the types of social relationships they are able to tap. Moral terms like gullibility and greed contain no analytic value. But, the degree to which communications in a society like ours remain undifferentiated may explain why scam victims are quick to entrust their money to swindlers with no economic credentials or record.
By Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
On the part of the schemers-scammers it was, above all, greed. But on the part of the victims, it could be all or some of the above.
In terms of both scale and speed, the Aman Futures pyramid scam is one for the books: According to the National Bureau of Investigation, at least 15,000 investors were duped of some P12 billion in a matter of months this year. The dizzying rise and collapse of the venture has already claimed a few lives. The NBI said “some of the victims” committed suicide, and the other day a sales agent for Aman Futures was killed in a town in Zamboanga del Sur; the houses of at least two relatives of the ex-driver who managed the company have already been torched, so it is possible that the killing is a consequence of the scam.
By Neal H. Cruz
The scam that defrauded 15,000 investors of P12 billion of their hard-earned money is caused by GREED—the greed of the officers of Aman Futures, the company behind the scam, and the greed of the victimized investors.