BY JOEL CALAMBA ESCOL, Managing Editor
MANILA, Philippines — Actor Luis Manzano was issued a subpoena by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in relation to his reported involvement in the alleged Flex Fuel investment scam.
It was the Criminal Intelligence Division of the NBI who issued the said subpoena. This after, fifteen overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have formally filed their complaints to the NBI office in Manila. But it was learned that there were 40 complainants in the country.
According to a report aired by GMA News, a complainant named “Leo” invested over a million after they saw the actor act as the speaker and presented the marketing plan of Flex Fuel company.
“Pumasok po sa aming Zoom meeting si Luis Manzano at nagpakilalang owner at chairman ng Flex Fuel. Ito raw po ay isang lifetime business, pandemic business kaya po napakaganda po. Ako po ay nagloan sa bangko upang mapadala po sa Flex Fuel para po sa investment. At ng April 22, 2022, makalipas ang anim na buwan, wala pa rin po silang natatayo na gasoline station. Kahit isa,” Leo told the media in an interview.
Earlier, another complainant Jinky Sta. Isabel claimed she invested P3.9 million. But Sta Isabel said they are willing to drop their case if Flex Fuel pays them back their supposed investments.
“Ibalik niya ang pera namin. Kahit principal, ‘yung buong pera lang namin na dineposit sa account niya. Kahit wala na ‘yung kinita, wala na ‘yung interes. Hindi na kami magsasampa ng kaso,” Sta. Isabel stressed.
The management of Flex Fuel has already denied the scam allegations from the complainants but explained the company was hit and affected by the Covid-19 pandemic which they have no control over.
‘IN HOT WATER’
Actor and businessman Luis Manzano is now ‘in hot water’ after several investors linked him to the alleged Flex Fuel investment scheme.
As this developed, the actor and his business partner, businessman Ildefonso “Bong” Medel, Jr are both facing a complaint before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Based on the alleged complaint, there were 100 investors of Flex Fuel who have failed to recover their investment on the reported petroleum company – and where Manzano was formerly designated as company chairman.
It was learned that each investor reportedly invested P990,000, or a whooping total investment of P100 million.
In an interview with Bilyonaryo.com, a certain Jinky Sta Isabel, the complainants’ spokesperson said that it was Manzano who allegedly convinced them of the Flex Fuel investment plan.
“We invested because of Luis Manzano. His message during a Zoom conference in 2020 resonated with us. We trusted Flex Fuel because his name was attached to it. Manzano told us he’s no longer connected with the company. However, it was him who represented Flex Fuel to us in 2020 and that’s why we invested,” Sta. Isabel explained.
Meanwhile, the beleaguered actor denied his involvement into the P100-million investment scheme, pinpointing to Medel as the person handling the management and operation of Flex Fuel.
Manzano’s lawyer Regidor Caringal, reports said, sent a letter to NBI Director Atty. Medardo de Lemos, that the actor Luis Manzano resigned as chairman of Flex Fuel in February 2022.
Manzano’s lawyer also told the NBI director that Medel’s company even owed his client, Luis Manzano, a total of P66-million.
“I never took part in the management of the business. Bong conducted the business in such a way that operational matters were kept away from me,” Manzano explained.
Earlier, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a certification, informing the public that there are petroleum companies that are allegedly selling securities even if they have no license to sell supposedly issued by SEC.
The SEC, in its certification, identified the following companies as PetroMobil, FlexFuel, Jeafer Fuel, Maximum Fuel, Power Fill, Nirvana Fuel Corp., Marz Fuel, Ofir Petroleum, Astral Fuel, and iFuel.