THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Northern Mindanao arrested a woman accused of estafa in Bukidnon at the Laguindingan airport, Misamis Oriental on Saturday noon.
Authorities pounced on Bae Marilyn Delima, whose current address is Quezon City, by virtue of an arrest warrant issued by the Municipal Trial Court in Valencia City, Bukidnon.
NBI-10 Special Investigator Gerardo Tamayo said Delima owns a cooperative called 4 ICD Maharlika Neighborhood Multi-Purpose Cooperative, luring people and once they become a member, promising them of housing projects and scholarship for students.
Tamayo said the complainant, Evelyn Custodio, a resident of Valencia City, was allegedly made to invest some P900,000 to the cooperative that apparently went down the drain.
Tamayo said Delima also victimized over 100 students in Bukidnon.
The students were promised of a scholarship after paying P3,000 to P4,000 each.
"Daghan na siyang nabiktima, niabot na sa Manila iyang nabiktima kay tungod sa iyang apelido, sulod-gawas daw ni siya sa Malacañan, magpasalig nga magprocess ug papers," Tamayo said.
Tamayo however said that Delima’s cooperative is not registered under the Cooperative Development Authority, and his supposed housing project is also not registered under the Housing and Land use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
For her part, Delima denied that her cooperative is fake.
She said her cooperative is operational since 2006, and has been helping mostly indigenous people in Bukidnon.
"Ang gusto ko lang naman ay makatulong dito sa countryside, hindi lang doon sa Manila lang nabibigay lahat ng tulong," she said.
Delima said her cooperative will not only grant scholarships and build a housing project, but will also build a school and a hospital.
She said her cooperative is a "foundation in nature".
Meanwhile, Tamayo urges all of Delima's victims to come forward to file additional cases against the con artist.
Delima is detained at the NBI-10 cell and will be brought to Valencia City Jail on Monday, though she can post bail for her temporary freedom at P40,000.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 21, 2018.