THE Organico Agribusiness Venture’s Corp. (Organico) is scheduled to undergo preliminary investigation before the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Manila on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“‘Yung counter-affidavit ng kabila inaasahan nating makuha. Kasi pang second na to eh na preliminary investigation. Yung sa una, I think hindi sila pumunta. November yung unang schedule, eh. Inaasahan na dadating ang counsel if not officials of the Organico (We expect to get the counter-affidavit of Organico today. This is the second schedule of a preliminary investigation. They didn’t show up during the first schedule. We expect Organico officials or their lawyers to show up today),” Lester Bautista, SEC security specialist, told SunStar Cebu.
A preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding to determine whether there is sufficient ground to make a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and the respondent is probably guilty and should be held for trial.
On Sept. 10, the SEC lodged criminal complaints against Organico and its officers before the DOJ for violation of Republic Act (RA) 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code.
While waiting for developments on the complaint they filed, Bautista said they are gathering complaint affidavits of investors since they will need witnesses once the trial starts.
Based on the previous advisory of SEC, Organico is SEC registered but it does not have a secondary license to accept investments.
In a May 21, 2018 advisory, the commission said Organico “is engaged in soliciting investment wherein an investor must invest in at least 10 shares, with one share costing P1,800. For every share, an investor gets P450 every 15 days or a total of P2,700 in three months.”
On June 10, 2019, Organico voluntarily closed its branch at Copenhagen East Bldg. on A.C. Cortes Ave. in Barangay Cambaro, Mandaue City allegedly after failing to deliver on its promise of payout to the investors.
On Oct. 24, eight investors went to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7 office to file complaints against Organico.
The investors had poured in more than P1 million in Organico for the purchase of pigs before the firm’s activities were revealed to be a scam.
Other investors complained before the CIDG 7 on Nov. 15 that Organico failed to return their investments in September 2019.
Bautista, in an earlier interview, clarified that the Commission cannot force Organico to return the investors’ money but it can make the firm liable in court.
“At least, we can have the scammers jailed. Our ultimate goal is to put them behind bars,” he said.