NBI would not take into custody two Legacy owners charged with syndicated estafa

July 15, 2009 9:15 am 

MANILA, July 15 — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said on Wednesday that it would not take in its custody two officers of Legacy Group of Companies since they were already under the Senate custody in connection with syndicated estafa.

Head Agent Roland Argabioso, chief of the NBI – Field Operations Division (FOD), said Legacy officers Carolina Hinola and Namnama Pacetes-Santos have outstanding warrants of arrest issued by Judge Sulayman G. Macato-on, of Cagayan de Oro Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 24 and Judge Joefre Acebido, of Cagayan de Oro Branch 41.

Argabioso clarified that the NBI did not serve the warrants of arrest last Tuesday as the bureau has to honor the protocol of the Senate which is taking custody of Hinola and Santos in connection with the Legacy controversy.

He, however, said the NBI informed the Senate that the two Legacy officers have outstanding warrants of arrest for syndicated estafa with no bail.

“There is protocol in the Senate. So we have to honor the protocol but we still served the communication informing the Senate about the warrants of arrest on the two Legacy Officers. We served the communication in the offices of the Senate President Jose Ponce Enrile, Senator Mar Roxas and Senate Sgt. of Arms Jose Balajadia,” said Argabioso.

Argabioso said the NBI has to make a partial return of warrant to the courts as the law enforcement agencies are still hunting four other accused who have also warrants of arrests.

Operatives of the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) have already served the warrant of arrest on Bicol town Mayor Celso de los Angeles Jr. while he was confined at the St. Luke’s Hospital recently.

The Sto. Domingo (Albay) town mayor remains at the hospital but technically he is under arrest as he is facing a non-bailable charge.

The criminal cases stemmed from complaints of the investors in Cagayan De Oro City.

Investigating prosecutors said respondents “falsely pretended to possess power, business etc., when in fact they are not, to defraud investors,” which is punishable under Art. 315 of Revised Penal Code.

Legacy’s pre-need firms, which have some 50,000 plan-holders, have also ceased operations. (PNA): /V3/JES/

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