De Lima: No politics in LP mayor's raps

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 11 2013 02:58 PM | Updated as of Feb 11 2013 10:58 PM

MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) will not play politics in the resolution of several complaints for syndicated estafa against Pagadian City Mayor and Liberal Party (LP) congressional bet Samuel Co.

Justice Sec. Leila De Lima gave this assurance amid reports that some of the victims of the alleged P12-billion Aman Futures pyramiding scam are fearful that the preliminary investigation into complaints against Co may not be fair and square because he is a member of the administration party.

De Lima assured the complainants and the public that Co will not get special favors and will get a fair hearing before the department.

"If I may be very candid about it, I don't really appreciate reactions like that, dapat maintindihan ng mga tao na may mandato ang DOJ and I keep on saying that we do things or, at least, we try our best to do things and dispose of cases without fear or favor. We always shield ourselves from any partisan influence," she said.

De Lima stressed that no less than Pres. Aquino, himself, expects the DOJ to treat the Aman Futures cases with utmost fairness so that justice is served to the victims, and so that the perpetrators of the largest scam to date in Philippine history are held accountable under our laws.

"Even the President, himself, would not want that the DOJ would do its job with political considerations... In DOJ, we don't do that, we shield ourselves from those, from any partisan influence," she said.

"Sana yung mga nagco-comment ng ganyan, mag-isip muna," she added.

Co and his wife, Priscilla, face several complaints for large-scale estafa in connection with the Aman Futures scam. The complaints alleged that some of the investors made payments to Aman Futures in Co's office in City Hall or in his residence.

One complaint alleged that millions in investments to the controversial firm were made to the account of Mrs. Co.

The latest complaint filed against Co, filed with the DOJ last week, alleged that at least P100 million in investments were personally received by Co.

Co's camp has cried harassment over the issue, pointing out that Co is also a victim of the Ponzi Scheme. His camp also claimed he is being used as a "fall guy" in the investments scam.

The complaints against Co and his wife have yet to be resolved by the DOJ.