‘Prince Altres,’ others face raps for large-scale estafa-A A +A
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
CHARGES for large scale estafa were filed Monday before the City Prosecutor’s Office against eight members of a syndicated group who were arrested Saturday in an entrapment operation in Barangay Alijis, Bacolod City.
Charges for violation of Revised Penal Code Article 168 or “illegal possession and use of false treasury or bank notes and other instruments of credit” were also filed against them.
Special Operations Task Group head Police Superintendent Santiago Rapiz said Monday they have already filed the charges against Altres De Dios, 33, president and CEO of Voice for Global Solutions on Poverty Association Incorporated (VOGSOPAI), a resident of Subic, Zambales.
Charges were also filed against Eustaquio Mejo Jr., 38, VP for treasury of the said organization and resident of Olongapo City, and their members Gregorio Deslate Jr., 61; Lina Deslate, 58; Jesus Montales, 61; Lucero Dolores, 61; and Carmela Umadhay, 42, all of Iloilo City; and Vicenta Garcia, 59, of Cagayan.
Rapiz said the charges were filed before the City Prosecutor’s Office under Fiscal Emmanuel Lupisan around 3:30 p.m., with no bail recommended.
Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) Director Ricardo De la Paz lauded the accomplishments of SOG, Investigation Detective and Management Branch (IDMB) and Intelligence Branch for the apprehension of the suspects.
De la Paz said the operation of the suspects is part of a nationwide scam, which solicits money from their recruits in exchange of the promise of much greater financial returns.
He said the suspects told the members that they should give P120 in exchange of grandiose benefits, such as free house and lot, electricity and education. The group, later, will also add an additional requirement or ask the recruit to pay an additional fee in order to avail of the benefit.
He added the suspects also issued a stub of checks in exchange of P2,000 for each member with the promise that by December 23, 2012, there will be a proclamation in the country that the chairman of VOGSPAI will be the king of the Philippines while their president, Altres, will be the prince.
The proclamation will allegedly appoint President Benigno Aquino III as the prime minister of the country.
The city director said the suspects also assured their members that through the checks issued to them, they will receive P10 million each through the Central Bank of the Philippines by December 23.
During the entrapment operations, police recovered from them P30,000 marked money, 135 stubs of false treasury bank notes and tarpaulin.
De la Paz said the Central Bank of the Philippines also confirmed that the check books of the suspects were not registered in said bank.
He said several complainants have already surfaced and signified their intent to file charges against the suspects.
The city director appealed to the members of the said group to cooperate with the police, stressing that it is a scam and that the leader of the group could not afford to give P10 million each to the members.
One of the complainants, whose name is being withheld, said that in Bacolod City alone, the group had already recruited about 2,000 members.
The complainant said the group promised them very tremendous benefits if they joined the organization. She said they travelled to Manila and Subic for the proclamation, but no proclamation came out.
She added that when they asked for the source of the P10 million funds, their president told them that the money was to come from almighty god and nature. This made them realize that the operation of the group was a scam, she said.
On the other hand, De Dios clarified that their group is not perpetrating a scam. He insisted that they are also victims.
De Dios said they were invited to Bacolod for the re-election of their officers but then they were arrested.
He said their advocacy is to have the implementation of the 1987 Constitution Article 2 Section 9, which states: “The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all.”
He said the money they collected from the members is also part of their support to the organization.
De Dios said they also visited Malacañang and other places to receive their documents to prove that they are not a spurious group. He also denied that they give misleading promises to their members.
He added their mission is to bring out the voice of God through constitutional means.
He also denied that a proclamation that will make him a prince and his parents king and queen of Philippines, will happen in the country on December 23.
He said as of now, they have 33,000 members nationwide. The suspects are presently detained at the lock up cell of Station 7.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on December 11, 2012.