Court grants bail to alleged brains of P12 billion investment scam
The Court of Appeals has ordered the release on bail of former Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co, who has been charged with syndicated estafa for allegedly masterminding a P12 billion Aman Futures Group investment scam.
The court’s Special Eleventh Division, in a decision dated October 7, overturned and set aside the May 11, 2015, order of the Manila City Regional Trial Court, which denied Co’s application for bail.
“The Court hereby orders the provisional release of petitioner Samuel Co… upon posting of a cash bond of P500,000, unless he is being detained for some other lawful cause or causes,” the decision stated.
The appellate court also reversed the orders by the Manila City RTC on August 24, 2015 and December 15, 2015, which denied Co’s motions for reconsideration and clarification.
The Court of Appeals said the prosecution did not establish strong evidence against the former mayor.
“The prosecution failed to prove that petitioner performed any overt act in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy. The allegation that petitioner is a friend of the direct principals does not constitute strong evidence that he had conspired with them,” the court said.
Thousands of people in Visayas and Mindano were allegedly duped by Aman Futures, which promised high returns for their investments. DMS