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4 who duped cops, soldiers of P3 B convicted by QC court

The Quezon City Regional Trial Court has convicted four persons who led a syndicate that duped more than 4,000 police and military officers of over P3 billion in spurious investments starting in 2000.

Convicted of 23 counts of estafa after 16 years of trial were Emilia Sison, Ireneo Sison Jr., Mirasol Aguilar, and Marilo Caballo. The decision that was handed down last Nov. 20 was written by RTC Judge Jose G. Paneda.

But five persons were acquitted for failure of the prosecution to establish their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Acquitted were former Supt. Ricardo Sison, William Sison, Lorna Bosque, Vilma Benitez, and Elizabeth Cervera.  They were ordered released from detention.

A copy of the decision released by the Department of Justice showed that those convicted were found guilty of violating the Revised Penal Code.  They were sentenced to a prison term ranging from six years to 16 years for each of the 23 counts of estafa.

Apart from estafa, Emilia Sison was also found guilty of violating the Securities Regulations Act and was sentenced to a prison term of 10 years and ordered to pay a fine of P2 million.

The criminal charge sheets filed by the DoJ in 2002 stated that the four accused, through the ICS Export Inc., managed to dupe about P3 billion from their 4,000 victims from the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines by promising eight to 15 per cent return on their investments of P50,000 that could be withdrawn only after six months.

From syndicated estafa, the charges were reduced to simple estafa with the death of the fifth accused Mimosa Zamudio.

The trial court ruled that “the strategy used by the accused using the corporation is akin to the so-called Ponzi scheme,” the investment scheme in the 1920s where money received from later investors are used to pay the early investors. (Rey G. Panaligan)