CEBU

‘We’re also victims’: God’s coop

Logo grabbed from CDA Region 7 Cebu Extension Office Facebook

THE officials of the credit cooperative which is now the subject of complaints by its members “vehemently deny” they have conned its members and claim that they are also victims of fraud.

In a statement sent to SunStar Cebu on Friday, June 14, 2019, God the Father Almighty Credit Cooperative (GTFACC) blamed its supplier, which has a shop located in Consolacion, Cebu, as the one that defrauded them.

“This problem is rather due to the non-compliance of our supplier.... A Memorandum of Agreement has been signed by GTFACC and (the supplier), which the latter promised to extend full credit line and to supply the supposed loaned cars and motorcycles to GTFACC’s members. Unfortunately, after receiving the initial down payment from our members, (the supplier) failed to deliver the requested motor vehicles,” read a part of the statement.

As this developed, the Labangon Police will initiate an investigation against GTFACC.

Labangon Police Chief P/Maj. Henrix Bancoleta said they will conduct a joint investigation with the Regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

“We will cater to whoever needs assistance regarding this case. We will listen to and take note of their grievances and then we will coordinate with the CIDG,” he said.

Thirty individuals have already filed a complaint before the police and the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) against the GTFACC.

Some of the victims alleged that the credit cooperative failed to release to them its promised vehicles although they already gave their down payment.

Refund

In a phone interview with the coop’s founder Christopher Tundag, he said when the first batch of their members asked for a refund, they immediately contacted the supplier to ask for the refund. The latter, he said, promised to do so.

Last May, the supplier paid them the initial refund amounting to P1 million, which GTFACC immediately divided among some members, according to Tundag. The GTFACC had given the supplier a down payment amounting to P14 million.

Tundag said as of their latest record, the GTFACC had released around P3 million from its funds and savings to refund some of its members.

He said they prioritized those who purchased motorcycles since according to him, they are the ones who tend to get “violent” at times.

“We are forced to use the Coop’s funds as refund for some members and now the Coop can barely stand (because of lack of funds),” explained Tundag.

Tundag emphasized they were in constant communication with the supplier to ask for the refund. The latter, he said, had constantly promised to pay him and even asked him not to take any legal action yet.

However, after being blamed by its members and bashed on Facebook, Tundag and their legal counsel sought the help of the authorities.

Last week, Tundag said, they went to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to file a complaint. It was later discovered that the supplier was also using a different name.

Tundag further said that based on the NBI investigation the supplier has two pending estafa cases.

Tundag said the GTFACC board will also take legal action against the supplier.

Threats

Meantime, Tundag said their office in Tisa, Cebu City is temporarily closed due to the threats of some members.

“There are some who threatened to set our office on fire and the like,” said Tundag.

He said their goal right now is to resolve the issue and that truth will be known so their coop can bring its dignity back and they can resume their operation.

Meanwhile, CIDG 7 Chief Police Col. Lito Patay said all those who are victims of scams may go to their office and may also file an estafa case against these firms.

As of now, Patay said, no complainants have gone to their office yet, none even from the members of the controversial Kapa-Community Ministry International Inc., nor from the Organico Agribusiness Ventures. He believes these firms are still able to issue payouts as of now.

But, he said, the time will come that these firms will collapse.

“When the time comes that the community will be saturated of these investment scams, they will collapse,” he said.

The next step the CIDG 7 will undertake is to issue a hold departure order against the owners of these investment firms.


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