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SEC names 4 groups engaged in unauthorized investment schemes

May 13, 2020

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) underscored the importance of exercising due diligence before investing to avoid falling into a scammer’s trap, as it named four more groups engaging in unauthorized investment-taking activities. In separate advisories issued on May 7, the Commission warned the public against dealing with individuals or groups representing and promoting the Bayanihan Program of Billy Ford Andrada, My Gold Rev/ My Gold Rev Philippines, Friend$hip/ Friend$hip Philippines and World of Captcha (WOC). Bayanihan Program, My Gold Rev, Friend$hip and WOC have not registered securities such as investment contracts nor secured the necessary licenses to solicit and take investments from the public, as required under Republic Act No. 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code. In this light, the SEC advised the public against investing in Bayanihan Program, My Gold Rev, Friend$hip and WOC, which have not even registered as corporations or partnerships with the Commission. Under its Bayanihan Program, Billy Ford Andrada solicits a minimum investment of P2,000 and promises a 50% return plus a 5% direct referral bonus. To entice more investors, Billy Ford Andrada ran promotions for a 15% direct commission and a P300 bonus for every investment of P2,000 amid the quarantine measures implemented to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The SEC earlier identified a certain Billy Ford Delos Santos Andrada as the owner of Billford Trading and Bill Ford VIP Trading, Inc., whose investment-solicitation activities in the guise of a piggery business have been the subject of an earlier advisory. My Gold Rev, meanwhile, offers business plans for $20 to $100,000. Investors may supposedly earn a daily profit of 2% to 3.5% for 80 to 100 days, or a 260% to 450% return on investment. Friend$hip, on the other hand, collects a subscription fee of $7.99 or P385. Members receive $1 for every referral in the first to the fifth levels of their network. Friend$hip recently launched its second investment option: a subscription plan with landing page at $11 or P935. Under this plan, investors may earn $1 per successful referral and another $1 per purchased landing page up to the fifth level. Friend$hip claims to be an American company with a business address in New Jersey, USA. The group is headed by Rodnelio “Ron” Chang Capua as president and chief executive officer, according to various Facebook posts. WOC also solicits investments from the public in the guise of an online business. It offers plans worth P200 to P1,000 where members could supposedly earn P300 to P1,500 by typing CAPTCHA.       In addition, WOC promises bonuses ranging from P20 to P100 for direct referrals and P5 to P25 for indirect referrals up to the fifth level. It also offers a program where members can purchase 75 codes and get 10 free codes for P15,000 for the purpose of reselling them. Both plans expire after eight days, pushing members to purchase new plans and/or upgrade to continue earning under the scheme headed by a certain Charles Serrano.   The SEC warned that those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents of fraudulent investment schemes may be held criminally liable and penalized with a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years or both under the Securities Regulation Code. Those who invite or recruit others to join or invest in such ventures may likewise incur criminal liability, or otherwise be sanctioned or penalized accordingly. Republic Act No. 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, further penalizes those participating in cyber incidents that make use or take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to prey on the public through scams, phishing, fraudulent emails, or other similar acts with two-month imprisonment or a maximum fine of P1 million or both. For more details, the public may access the advisories on the SEC website at http://www.sec.gov.ph/public-information-2/investors-education-and-information/advisories-and-notices/. The public may report unauthorized investment solicitation activities to its Enforcement and Investor Protection Department through email at epd@sec.gov.ph

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Police enforce strict guidelines on CDO’s virus infected village

May 9, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro Ciity--Police quarantined portion of Carmen, one of the largest villages here, following the death of the female patient who was diagnosed positive for the COVID-19 virus. The latest fatality was a 61-year-old female relative of City Mayor Oscar Moreno, who was admitted to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) on May 1 but died five days later. Police cordoned part of the area as part of the quarantine measures to prevent the virus from spreading in the neighborhood while health officials conduct swabbing test on some of the closest neighbors. The streets along Zayas, Carmen was also being disinfected as the police advised all motorists to look for alternative roads and streets not covered by the quarantined area. The latest casualty was the among the latest three patients diagnosed COVID-19 positive. The two others were admitted to the NMMC and were reported to be in stable condition. Dr. Bernardo Rocha, of the NMMC, said Saturday that the NMMC has not admitted any COVID-19 related cases for the last 24-hour.

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Village officials urge Moreno to declare Oro under ECQ as Covid-19 cases swell

May 8, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Village Chiefs (Punong Barangays) here on Friday demanded for the imposition of the “enhance community quarantine” as COVID-19 virus invaded this seaport capital of 800,000 people in Northern Mindanao. The Department of Health on Thursday confirmed that three more 'locally transmitted' COVID-19 positive cases were monitored in Cagayan De Oro City after the death of the 21-year-0ld COVID-19 positive patient on Tuesday. The village chiefs representing 26 villages in the city’s 80 rural and urban villages made the call following the death and the presence of COVID-19 positive cases from three villages here. The three COVID-19 positive patients came from the villages of Carmen, Camaman-an, and Lumbia. The patient from Lumbia died Tuesday while the COVID-19 patient from Carmen died on Wednesday. Two more COVID-19 positive patients were also monitored in Pinikitan, Camaman-an, who was admitted to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC). The two newly confirmed COVID-19 positive patients were mother and daughter of the COVID-19 positive patient from Camaman-an who died two weeks ago. Health officials said that there is a possibility of a locally transmitted COVID-19 virus in the city, prompting the village chiefs to call for the imposition of the ECQ in the entire city. Provincial Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano wrote to President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday asking the national Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to declare the entire Misamis Oriental and Cagayan De Oro City until ECQ. At present, the IATF-MED declared Misamis Oriental as a COVID-19 “moderate risk area” after the province recorded a “zero” COVID-19 cases from March 2020 to present.

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Mayor Moreno’s kin, latest COVID 19 casualty in CDO

May 7, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Mayor Oscar Moreno on Wednesday announced that the latest COVID-19 fatality, who lived in the village (Barangay) of Carmen here, was his relative. The 61-year-old female patient originally came from the municipality of Balingasag, the hometown of Moreno, in the province of Misamis Oriental. Moreno said that his relative was active in the distribution and packaging of the relief goods in Carmen prior to her admission to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) hospital on May 1, 2020. Dr. Joselito Retuya, the city health epidemiologist, task to conduct contact tracing of COVID-19 positive patients, said that the patient had a swab test on May 3, 2020. He said that the patient died on May 5, 2020, a day after the swab result confirming that she was COVID-19 positive on May 6, 2020. The latest victim was one of the three COVID-19 positive patients from Cagayan De Oro City announced by the Department of Health (DOH) on May 5, 2020. The two other COVID-19 positive patients came from Pinikitan in the village of Camaman-an. Their health conditions at the NMMC remain stable, health officials said.

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Delayed by Covid-19: Solon commends BOC over re-export of Sokor waste

April 24, 2020

VILLANUEVA, Misamis Oriental--Second district Rep. Juliette T. Uy yesterday commended the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Department of Finance (DOF) for not forgeting the re-exportation of Verde Soko waste delayed by Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). In a statement, Rep. Uy said: On behalf of the residents of Misamis Oriental, I thank Customs Commissioner Rey Guerrero and the Department of Finance for not forgetting the 2,500 MT (metric tons) of Verde Soko waste still to be sent back to South Korea but was delayed because of COVID-19." In a DoF news release, retired general Guerrero was reported to have identified 2,500 MT of waste which still need to be re-bagged. “The re-exportation took some time because the wastes have been exposed to natural elements of heat and rain, which made it difficult to re-bag and stuff inside the containers,” Guerrero said in his report to Dominguez, according to the news release issued on April 22. "Rest assured that the Bureau will undertake all the necessary means, within the bounds of law, in order to expedite the re-exportation of these wastes,” Guerrero told Dominguez, the news release said further. On one hand, Rep Uy said: "We (in Misamis Oriental) will continue to work with the Bureau of Customs to bring this Verde Soko to its proper conclusion and work toward closure through the prosecution of all persons and organizations involved." "It is also our hope that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ) here and in Manila will not relent in their continuing investigation and prosecution of the cases against those charged and those still at large." (MRS)

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New COVID-19 positive patient admitted in Cagayan de Oro

April 17, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Another patient was diagnosed positive with the COVID-19 virus Friday, bringing to a total of two COVID-19 positive patients currently confined in the state-owned hospital here. The Department of Health (DOH) made the disclosure during a press conference about COVID-19 update in this premier port capital of Northern Mindanao. Dr. Jose Chan, medical director, of the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), the only government referral hospital involving infectious diseases in the region, said that the patient was admitted to the hospital on April 9, 2020. He said that the patient, a 68-year-old male, came from Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur, who has an exposure with his son who have a travel history in Manila. Chan said the patient is in stable condition, but doctors are closely monitoring because the patient sometimes complained of difficulty in breathing. The admission of suspected COVID-19 patients considered as Persons Under Investigation (PUI) at the NMMC has declined for the past weeks, leaving a total of only six patients.

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