Skirmishes in Oro feared over investment scam-A A +A
Thursday, February 28, 2013
GOVERNMENT officials expressed apprehension on Thursday that the reported skirmishes in Marawi City by irate investors duped by pyramiding scam suspect Jahcob “Coco” Rasuman will possibly escalate in Cagayan de Oro City.
Regional State Prosecutor Jaime Umpa said this would happen if the scheduled payoff to investors would not push through.
Umpa said the group of Rasuman promised to pay the investors on Thursday, as relayed by the crisis committee earlier created, led by Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Alonto-Adiong.
“I doubt Coco and his group can pay the investors considering that this is the last day of the supposed payment as they promised. I doubt if they can make it today (Thursday),” Umpa said.
He said accordingly, the payment started in December, then in January and supposedly February for the last payment.
Umpa believed this is not possible especially since the syndicated estafa case filed against one of the scam suspects, Sultan Yahya “Jerry” Tomawis, was dismissed.
“If this will happen, the peace and order, and the economic condition of the city will be affected,” he said.
With this, he appealed to the investors to let the law take its own course and not put the law into their own hands to avoid more trouble.
Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano said in a radio interview Thursday morning that police personnel in the city are now on full alert in anticipation of this possible scenario.
Emano said checkpoints in the city have also been intensified.
Meanwhile, Umpa said even if the case against Tomawis was dismissed, law enforcers can still arrest him.
Regional Trial Court Judge Bonifacio Macabaya of Branch 20 issued an order last week dismissing the case filed against Tomawis for the prosecutors’ failure to convict him beyond reasonable doubt.
But Umpa said the court order is not yet final since they have filed a motion for reconsideration last February 25, a few days after Macabaya dismissed the case.
The court also ordered the recall and cancellation Tomawis’ warrant of arrest following the dismissal of his case.
“The warrant of arrest issued against Jerry Tomawis is still effective because the order of dismissal is not yet final with the filing of our motion for reconsideration so our law enforcers may arrest him if he is cited anywhere in the country,” Umpa said.
Among the grounds of the Office of the Regional State Prosecutor in the filing of MOR were the motions for suspension of proceeding filed before Branch 20; and the affidavit of recantation executed by Naim L. Sampao, one of the two private complainants of the syndicated estafa against the Rasuman group related to his earlier affidavit of desistance.
Umpa said the court should not make any action, much more dismiss the cases of Tomawis, pending the motion of suspension of proceedings filed by the Department of Justice.
It was learned that last February 19, Macabaya signed the dismissal order of Tomawis due to the affidavit of desistance filed by Acmad D. Sangcaan and Sampao.
Sangcaan, according to the court’s two-page decision, took the witness stand and was presented on direct examination during the hearing of the motion on February 15 by defense counsel Federico Maranda.
Sangcaan was then subjected to extensive cross-examination as he affirmed his affidavit of desistance that he will not testify anymore in the prosecution of his criminal complaint against Tomawis.
On the part of Sampao, the defense did not present anymore the witness following the State Prosecutors’ admission that they have received the affidavit of desistance of Sampao.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 01, 2013.