Thursday, November 15, 2012
MANILA, November 15, 2012-In a banner year in strengthening political institutions, the Philippines ranked 4th lowest among 12 Asian nations in terms of domestic political risks, according to a report by the Political & Economic Risk Consultancy, Limited (PERC). Among Southeast Asian countries, the report also placed the Philippines second only to Singapore in the same risk category.
Just two years prior, the Hong Kong-based business consulting firm ranked the Philippines 10th in Asia and 5th in Southeast Asia, showing a considerable turnaround following the assumption of the Aquino administration in June 2010.
PERC was emphatic in its assessment of the President and his government, referring to his stewardship as, "one of the few in the country's modern history that has made headway on the population's political aspirations." Among the achievements cited by the firm are: improved government fiscal position, upgrades by credit rating agencies, and serious headway into a peace agreement with the MILF.
We take the results of this report with the constant awareness that more needs to be done to further establish the gains we have made over the past two years. Restoring social trust in our institutions continues to be the overarching aspiration of the Aquino administration with the President himself leading by example.
MANILA, Philippines – Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas today relieved Zamboanga del Sur Provincial PNP Director Senior Superintendent William T. Manzan and Pagadian City Chief of Police Superintendent Kenneth H. Mission in connection with the Aman Futures investment scam that victimized thousands in the province and parts of Mindanao.
Roxas said this is meant to avoid chances of whitewash in the ongoing police investigation into the latest “get-rich-quick” scheme that has reportedly duped some 15,000 individuals into investing about P12 billion of their hard-earned money.
The DILG chief also said Manzan and Mission were suspended for their supposed negligence in stopping Aman Futures early on in their operations.
“This scam has been perpetrated beginning as early as February this year and there have been very loud indicators that this scam was happening. People were lining up as early as 2:00 in the morning to try to get in the premises of Aman,” he said.
“The fact that there was no report that filtered up from the City PNP to the province to the region all the way to headquarters indicates, at the very least, negligence or laziness,” Roxas added.
Roxas said apart from Manzan and Mission, 21 other PNP officers who reportedly invested in Aman were recalled back to camp. He said this is to ensure that they do not use their authority to exact revenge against Aman Futures and its representatives.
Roxas also said the DILG has requested treasurers of local government units in Lanao del Sur and Zamboanga del Sur to submit their respective LGU bank balances for examination. This is to verify reports that public funds may have been used to invest in Aman.
The government is conducting a manhunt for the officials of Aman, including its president, Manuel K. Amalilio and Fernando “Nonoy” R. Luna, head of the Aman operations in Pagadian City.
Aman Futures was able to lure investors, mostly in Pagadian City, by offering a 30-percent to 40-percent return on investment within eight days, and a 50-percent to 80-percent profit for 18 to 20 days.
Aman Futures claimed that the profit would come from a customer agreement with Malaysian brokerage firm Okachi (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. that in turn engages in futures trading of commodities such as oil, manganese, palm oil and nickel.
At first, the victims could receive cash by just showing their official receipts. But later, investors were issued post-dated checks with a 50-day maturity date in lieu of cash. Investors started to panic when the Aman office in Pagadian closed last September 26.
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