Poe has filed Senate Resolution 1454, urging the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies to conduct an "omnibus inquiry and assessment in aid of legislation, on relevant securities and investment laws, regulations and measures, with the end goal of introducing remedial amendments to better battle deceptive investment schemes and stop insidious networking scams."
The chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs filed the resolution in the aftermath of the P3-billion investment scam involving Batangas-based firm One Dream Global Marketing.
The lawmaker noted that One Dream is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a firm involved in trading, buying and selling of various goods, but it has no permit to engage in selling and marketing investment products.
"With One Dream being an SEC-registered firm, unsuspecting investors could have been made to believe that it is safe to invest their money into the company. Amendments may have to be made to prevent companies engaged in deceitful means from circumventing existing securities and investment laws, regulations and measures," Poe said.
Investors have filed a syndicated estafa* against One Dream officers led by owner Arnel Gacer after the company refused to return their money after repeated demands. Complainants alleged that One Dream deceived them through a "system profit scheme" in which investors were required to put in P888 with the promise of a "payout" of P1,300 after four days.
"Would-be investors are enticed by 'networking groups' by emphasising the seeming lavish lifestyle of their 'successful members' through their posts in social media showcasing their money, cars, watches, free trips or other material things," the senator said.
A few days after the One Dream scam broke out, the SEC also warned the public of other investment scams particularly against business entities "Freedom Life Advanced Global Prosperity Marketing Incorporated (Flag Prosperity)" in Laguna province, and Metro Manila-based "SUCCESS200 International Marketing Corporation," with operations in other parts of the country and overseas. Both firms have no SEC registration.
"Desiring to improve one's financial status and one's quality of living by investing one's hard-earned money is commendable and is beneficial not only to the investor but to the economy, but to prey on our countrymen through deceitful and unscrupulous means is simply wrong and the government ought to step in to ensure the protection of our countrymen's investments and dreams," Poe said.
*An estafa is a criminal offence involving fraud.