Student group seeks House probe vs organizers
◢ Rat San Juan
A student organization in UP Los Baños (UPLB) is set to appeal for a Congressional investigation regarding the mass gathering in their campus that later turned out to be a scam.
The party-alliance Samahan ng Kabataan para sa Bayan (SAKBAYAN) is currently in contact with the office of Kabataan Partylist Representative Sarah Elago, and is positive that they will receive the Congresswoman’s support in conducting the inquiry, said UPLB University Student Council Chairperson Charmane Maranan.
Several thousands of people trooped to UPLB last Saturday, September 23, after being promised a portion from the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth. To be able to claim their share, each attendee was asked to pay at least P30 for a booklet published by Bullion Buyer Ltd. (BBL), a company which is not registered under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and which has been tagged in numerous other scams.
At the end of the day, none of the attendees were able to get any amount from the organizers of the event, said Maranan.
Maranan denounced the event organizers, One Social Family Credit Cooperative (OSFCC), for deceiving thousands of people, some of whom have come from places as far as Marinduque. However, the UPLB Administration must also be held accountable for their negligence in allowing the event to transpire, Maranan added.
“Walang ginawang kahit anong move ‘yung ating administration to cut [short] ‘yung program o alamin kung anong nangyayari,” said Maranan.
The UPLB administration approved the letter of Jeffrey S. Fortuna, who introduced himself as National Inspectorate and Cooperative Secretariat of the OSFCC, to hold “a general assembly at the lower field managed by the UPLB Department of Human Kinetics,” according to a statement of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA).
It is hard to believe that it only took one department’s go signal to approve the event, said Maranan, recalling difficulties in organizing the Lakbayan last August due to complicated bureaucratic procedures.
Before the Lakbayan was authorized, Maranan had to get approval from the offices of the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs, as well as the University Police Force (UPF). Additionally, a complete list of all student and faculty attendees had to be submitted, said Maranan.
Meanwhile, it is not fair for the public to blame the thousands who were scammed, said Anakbayan UPLB Chairperson Mackie Valenzuela, who spoke to the attendees and later learned that they are not Marcos supporters but were mere hopefuls for much-needed cash.
“[Karamihan] talaga sa kanila ay aware na pwede nga siyang scam, pwedeng hindi siya totoo. Pero [karamihan] sa kanila ay nagbabaka-sakali na baka totoo, parang sumusugal sila,” Valenzuela said. ◢
Short URL: http://www.philippinecollegian.org/?p=12224