MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Aman Futures Inc. President Fernando Luna finally surfaced today after three months in hiding. He is wanted for his role in the P12 billion pyramid scam which broke last September.
Luna showed up at the Department of Justice (DOJ) today together with his wife Nimfa and lawyer Tersendo Poloyapoy. He filed his counter-affidavit before a special panel of prosecutors created exclusively for Aman Futures cases.
Luna is one of 42 respondents in the case, which has received thousands of complaints from investors who were duped after the company shut down last September 26.
But Luna said he was also a victim of Aman Futures owner Manuel Amalilio, just like 15,000 other investors who were not able to recoup their investments after Amalilio flew to Malaysia three months ago.
Luna said he went into hiding not because he's guilty, but because he needed to protect himself and his family from numerous death threats he has been receiving after the company shut down in Pagadian City.
"Kahit saan na lang kami, kahit saan makatulog, mga anak ko hindi makakain ng maayos," Luna said, as he recalled the hardships they went through in the past three months.
He added, "Sinira nila (investors) mga bahay namin, wala kami mapupuntahan, kaya nagtago na kami."
Luna claimed that it was the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) which helped him escape from Pagadian at the height of investors' backlash, when an angry mob was ready to kill him and his family.
He said the group that took him identified themselves as members of ISAFP, and he was brought immediately to Dapitan in Zamboanga to hide.
Luna, however, said he cannot recall the names of the alleged ISAFP members who took him, his wife and his two children.
His lawyer Poloyapoy said it is not confirmed that it was actually ISAFP men who held Luna's family, but the men introduced themselves as members of the ISAFP.
"The group tried to assist him to secure his life, hindi confirmed yun na ISAFP pero yun ang sinasabi nung grupo na yun," Poloyapoy said.
Luna admitted he was indeed the president of the infamous Aman Futures Group, but clarified that he was just a dummy of Amalilio, who needed a local incorporator for the company.
He said he was just a driver and bodyguard of Amalilio who asked him to become the company's president.
Poloyapoy said they have over 2,000 pieces of documentary evidence to prove that Luna was also a victim just the like the rest of residents of Pagadian.
Poloyapoy said one of the records they are going to present is the capital investment of P14 million infused by Amalilio for Luna so that the latter could become Aman Futures' highest official.
Poloyapoy said a driver like Luna has no source of income to raise P14 million as capital investments for the company. He said this is one proof that Luna's name was just used by Amalilio.
"Saan siya kukuha ng P14 million na capital, lahat yan galing kay Amalilio, pinipirmahan lang nya tapos ginawa na syang presidente," he said.
Luna also claimed that days before the company shut down in Pagadian, he was still able to deposit some P951 million cash to the personal bank accounts of Amalilio who later flew allegedly to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
Luna said he does not know where the other investments are. He claimed that he knew of the company's financial problem only days before the company closed down. This was on Sept. 10, when he received only 10 bank checks with thousands still awaiting the returns of their investments.
Amalilio then assured him that everything will be alright, until the company closed down. Luna said even his relatives were not able to get the returns on their investments.
Luna broke down in tears during the interview, thinking about how it could have been a joyful Christmas for them.
He asked his former boss to help clear his name. "Boss, I'm here now in DOJ, please help!" Luna said.
Poloyapoy said Luna and his wife Nimfa are more than willing to become state witnessese against Amalilio and be placed under protective custody of the DOJ.
But for now, Luna's counsel said they will have to provide for their own security measures.
"Ready sila na tumulong sa gobyerno," Poloyapoy said.
With the submission of Luna's counter-affidavit, Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutor Atty. Mark Estepa said the case is now deemed for resolution. If the panel finds probable cause, then the DOJ will file a syndicated estafa case against Luna, the most serious estafa case under Philippine laws.