NBI tracks down sect member for fraud

The Philippine Star, Nov. 7, 2002
By Manny Galvez

CABANATUAN CITY — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is hot on the trail of a 51-year-old member of the local sect Jesus Loves You (JLY) who reportedly defrauded his religious brethrens of some P230,000 worth of hogs.

Pedro Roque Jr., NBI director for Nueva Ecija, said his agents are now tracking down Jaime Montemayor, alias Joel Cruz, who claimed to be a resident of Barangay Sangitan, this city and Lubao, Pampanga. The manhunt for Montemayor has been ordered by Roque after 12 of his victims, all fellow members of the JLY, filed a complaint before the NBI provincial office here yesterday afternoon.

Zaldy Rivera, NBI agent, said that Montemayor’s case falls under large-scale estafa.

The complainants were accompanied at the NBI office by Nanette Cando-Gutierrez whose name was reportedly being dropped by the suspect in his transactions with them. They claimed that the suspect borrowed from them their hogs and offered to sell them to other buyers at a higher price and promised to return the hogs if these were not bought. Gutierrez, owner of the Tehillah Agro-Center at Poblacion, Sta. Rosa town, told The STAR that the suspect asked her to refer him to the victims.

Sixty-three heads of hogs were reportedly taken from the victims by the suspect costing around P230,000.

One of the victims, Julie Garcia, of Barangay Sta. Barbara, San Antonio, Nueva Ecija, stated in her affidavit filed before the NBI that the suspect borrowed from her 10 heads of hogs on Oct. 19. Montemayor promised to pay her the monetary value of the hogs of P40,000 but he failed to bring back the hogs. The suspect even claimed he would bring the hogs to Robinson’s in Pampanga where there is a ready market for meat.

“We trusted him because he is our brother in faith so we lent her our hogs. We never thought he would do this to us,” Garcia said.

The other complainants related the same experiences. They were Myrna Libra who lent Montemayor nine heads of hogs, Analie Luciano (eight heads), Richard Balondo and Magdalena Pascua (six each), Enrique Prades, Rudy Domingo and Josie Domingo (five each), Leopoldo Prades (four), Juanito Domingo (three) and one Beth (two).

When the victims became suspicious, they tried to locate Montemayor in his listed address in Sangitan but he could not be found. They also went to Montemayor’s supposed house in sitio Libis, Barangay Sto. Tomas, Lubao, Pampanga but the place later turned out to be non-existent.

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