PARAÑAQUE City Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez has warned the public about an investment scam using padded purported government projects as modus operandi following the arrest of a woman con artist who is believed to have already duped unsuspecting victims of some P400 million.
The suspect, Ma. Angelaine L. Martirez of BF Resort Village, Talon, Las Pinas City was collared by the police following complaints of her victims who shelled out their hard-earned cash in exchange for non-existent city government projects.
Olivarez said the modus of the suspect was to introduce herself as a city hall supplier to win the trust and confidence of her intended victims after which she would then sweet talk them into joining her in her “proposed business ventures”.
The business ventures usually involve ongoing city government projects that are less than a million pesos, the details which are easily downloadable from the city government website or from philgeps.gov.ph.
After downloading the prospective project, she would then enhance the amount that was listed in the original project, for instance from original P8 million she would pad it to P80 million or even higher before talking with her intended victims, an information revealed by her alleged investors who are all complainants in this case.
The suspect would then declare to her victims that she already won the project and that she was looking for partners who would invest with her, promising as high as 30 percent return in profits for their investments.
Investigators said that to further establish her credibility, she would usually tag along with her at least two elected barangay councilors while also introducing herself as wedding goddaughter of Mayor Olivarez himself.
As a result, she succeeded in gypping many of her victims who were made to believe that they were dealing with the right person who have right connections.
Mayor Olivarez Olivarez however clarified that the suspect has no connections whatsoever with the city hall and that the public is requested to immediately report or file a complaint against any individual soliciting investments for the city government.
He added that he even personally called the attention of NBI Director Virgilio Mendez last July 27 after reports of the scam came into his attention.
‘As a matter of fact I immediately called the attention of NBI Director Mendez urging them to conduct an investigation and give justice to the victims of this scam’ Mayor Olivarez explained.
He also clarified that the suspect could indeed be one of his many wedding goddaughters ‘but that did not give her the license to engage in unlawful activities’.
“As the father of the city , I practice open and transparent leadership and everyone is welcome to visit me anytime, even as I consider it as part of my duty to accommodate those who would ask me to act as their wedding godfather” he explained.