House to investigate the Aman Futures, Rasuman investment scams

A lawmaker has called for congressional inquiry into the controversial investment scams in Mindanao which defrauded millions of people in the region and other provinces.

Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara (Lone District, Aurora) has filed House Resolution 2897, urging the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries to look into the operations of the Aman Futures Group Philippines Inc., Rasuman Group, Visioner 2020 and other corporations engaged fraudulent investment scams.

“Despite existing laws that provide protection on investors and minimize if not totally eliminate insider trading and other fraudulent or manipulative devices and practices which create distortions in the free market, government agencies which have jurisdiction over corporations have failed to stop the proliferation of investment scams.”

Angara also asked the house body to invite officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to shed light on the matter.

Angara said the investigation is imperative to ascertain whether existing laws are adequate to protect the public from illegal investment schemes.

Angara said the Aman, Rasuman and Visioner 2020 scams are just three in a series of fraudulent investment schemes that had proliferated over the years despite existing laws and investments.

“Some 15,000 people in Visayas and Mindanao were reported to have been defrauded of more than P12 billion by Aman Futures Group Philippines Inc., headed by Malayasian national, Manuel K. Amalilio and the Rasuman Group, founded by Jachob “Coco” Rasuman, an alleged Marawi businessman,” Angara said.

“It is incumbent upon Congress to institute legislative measures to curb the proliferation of such scams,” Angara said.

Angara said investments are necessary to accelerate the development of the country’s economy. “However, investment scams have victimized numerous Filipino investors who would have otherwise invested their capital in legitimate investment vehicles and make the domestic economy more productive,” he said.

Angara said there is a need to improve the financial literacy of Filipinos through the development of financial literacy programs in educational institutions and the private sector to equip Filipinos with the knowledge to properly manage their finances and make informed financial decisions.

Angara cited that those who placed money in the Aman Group and the Rasuman Group were all promised a return of the entire sum of their investments in the form of post-dated checks plus investment profits ranging from 30-40 percent for the Aman Group and 40-70 percent for the Rasuman Group, in less than a month.

Angara said most of the reported victims of these scams were pedicab drivers, vendors and even public officials.

“Those who didn’t have cash, sold or mortgaged their properties or borrowed from lending companies, banks, and loan sharks to be able to invest,” Angara said.

Angara said it was alleged that a substantial amount of local government funds were used by local officials in Mindanao to invest in the Rasuman Group, which allegedly received P300 million from 29 investors in Cagayan de Oro alone.

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