In the last quarter of 2013, I have received a form which allegedly sprung from Bullion Buyer Limited (BB Ltd.). At the outset, it came to me that this might be another modus of unscrupulous individuals and might be another scam from a long line of attempts to extort money from the masses. Instead of rejecting it, I wittingly accepted the form and had it filled up. We were not asked for any amount but were told in advance that BB Ltd. needs authenticated copies of our birth certificates, marriage certificates, and 2 by 2 pictures. We complied and heard nothing from them for months.

Just today, I received a text from a lady named Belyn. She asked me if I remember signing the form and told me about the plan to make me a Participating Leader in the island along with my godfather, a former vice mayor of the town. She further informed me that an official of Bullion Buyer Ltd. came yesterday for an emergency seminar and explained that she never had time to call because of its urgency. We were told to meet with her tomorrow so we can make plans.

The skeptic side of me surfaced and it made me search “Bullion Buyer Ltd.” on Google. I have seen videos in the organic results stating among others that it is legitimate and that it was a project offered to individuals who wanted to get an aliquot part of Marcos wealth that will be given back to the people of the Philippines. In the Facebook account of DZMM Teleradyo, however, there are a number of questions raised by netizens on the legitimacy of the Bullion Buyer Limited. Here are a few of the interesting comments on the thread (Translation mine):

Lucille Becari Agreda was glad she first had the research before proceeding further. She said there were reports about it in Iloilo but she questioned where it came from and who can answer all the questions about it. She further said that she received the form and one person called her and offered to make her a coordinator.

Diane Manlapat expressed her concern about the people in their place and asked for information because most of the people there are confused about the program.

“This might be the will of the Almighty. We will just pray that the money will be released to the people as soon as possible. I am from Pangasinan and I believe this organization is true. We just need to have faith on this because it is not asking us for any amount. What they need is a little effort and pictures and we will all become rich. This is real. Just don’t pay when someone asks for it. I, too, am a coordinator and we are not asking even a single peso from those who fill up the forms. The money will come in God’s time.” Arnel Cardinal exhaustively explained.

Papers were also distributed in Bocaue, Bulacan, Adelle Sabdao said. “I hope someone will help us find out whether it is true or not. Here, they promised us to receive 200 thousand and they said they will give up to 500 thousand in other places. We are confused why others will receive more. I have heard about this long time ago, maybe it was way back 2002 when forms were distributed in Calauag, Quezon saying that people will receive cash but I never received any report from individuals receiving anything and never received any information about it.” She added.

A rather interesting comment on the thread was from Tahir Manotoc Abas who was from Maguindanao. He said money is involved in their place and they were asked for 260 pesos for the marriage certificated and an additional 150 for something he did not mention. He also asked if there is any organization giving the necessary funding to Bullion Buyer Limited.

And to complete the list, Lourence Gemeniano Aringoy said someone came to their house in Calamba, Laguna and gave her mom forms of Bullion Buyer Limited. She hurled a question in the last part asking, “Is this a scam?”

Whether it is scam or not, this remains a question for many. An untitled document from the NBI revealed that prosecution for case of Syndicated Estafa against to high profile suspects claiming themselves to be caretakers of Marcos assets and successfully enticed a number of persons to invest and demanded money from them has been submitted for preliminary investigation before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Tarlac, Urdaneta, and Lingayen, Pangasinan.

In Tony Calvento’s Calvento Files, he succinctly said that the number of those who have been misled by Bullion Buyer Limited throughout the country has risen to about half a million. He said that sometimes we already have an inkling about the possibility of being defrauded but because the get-quick-rich offer is to beautiful, we just couldn’t reject it.

According the report which Calvento received, Antonio Sapalco from Paniqui, Tarlac together with Remedios Salango came to their office asking for help about a case filed against Bullion Buyer Limited. They alleged that the organization was founded by certain Emmanuel Destura and Felicisima Cantos and that it started in 2011 and from then on, it has spread throughout the country. The following story was from Calvento Files (Translation mine):

According to the report Bullion Buyer Ltd. promised their members to get 1 million pesos for their 2,000 pesos contribution. Apart from this, they will also be given 1 million US dollars after 30 days. The amount asked is too low so people were tempted to the offer. Coining Mr. Emmanuel Destura with the the codename Red Dragon (RD), he said he met RD in 2008 in the condo of certain Paz Santos in Ortigas. He said RD persuaded him and Paz to have business with him but stated that they need millions to start with that. Antonio shrugged the offer saying that he cannot afford to get on the venture.

In 2011, RD again offered him 1 million pesos since the money of his father in the amount of 200 billion US Dollars is now ready for release. RD told him that he will just help him recruit people from all over the country and take 2,000 pesos each from them, have the said amount deposited in RD bank account so that they can mobilize the immediate release of the billions of dollars in Switzerland. He willingly joined because he will no longer spend a million to affiliate with RD and will only need 2,000 pesos to start.

It was in September 11, 2011 when the organization was formed. They recruited new members and as an incentive, those who can give 2,000 pesos will be made Participating Leaders (PL). The PL will again be tasked to get additional 1,500 new recruit-beneficiaries. PLs will also be given Document of Agreement (DOA), a contract stating, among others, that since they support the cause of Bullion Buyer Ltd., RD will give them 1 million pesos and another 1 million Dollars after a period of 30 days.

RD asked them to trust Bullion Buyer Ltd. and further informed the PLs that each of the recruited beneficiaries will receive 50,000 pesos when the money gets transferred to the account in the country. The beneficiaries will only be asked for an amount of 150 pesos for their marriage certificates that will be secured from the NSO.

One of those which RD convinced to join was Remedios, former Filipino nurse who has gotten the privilege of working in Saudi Arabia. She also paid 2,000 pesos to RD and was hailed as PL along with others. Remy said she was able to recruit a number of people already when she heard something bad about the organization.

Remedios added that they had weekly meetings in 2011 and all that RD did was to give promises that their money is forthcoming. The last that RD did was they were asked to meet with him in Max’s Paranaque claiming that Imelda Marcos will be there. No one came and they each paid for their meal.
It was in April 2012 when Antonio noticed that something wrong is going on. He said that Paz husband died so they asked RD about the money. RD said the money is already en route to the Philippines in two container vans and further said that the ship is now sailing to Zambales. Nothing happened so they, along with hundreds of PLs, started to get cold with the recruitment efforts.

One day, RD and Felicisima Cantos called them and asked them for 2,000 peso for their ID which shall also serve as credit card. Remedios said that they were told that they can now get the money using the cards. When the cards came, they noticed that they were slightly bigger than ATM cards so at that time, they were already sure that they were defrauded. At the back of the card was Bullion Buyer Ltd.’s address which is Queen’s Road Central, Beijing, China and there appears the name and signature of certain Warren Smith as Buyers Redeemer and Ferdinand Marcos, as president of the Philippines.

Months passed but they have not received any word from RD so in March 2013, they all decided to file a syndicated estafa case against RD and Felicissima. Antonio and Remedios spoke before the radio program Calvento Files “Justice for All” program of DWIZ 882 khz. After a few months, warrant of arrest was issued against Emmanuel Destura and Felicissima Cantos but police were not able to effect the arrest and they are still at large.

On a personal note, I would like to assume that Bullion Buyer Ltd. is another scam. In the words of the comments of Calvento Files, if a suitor came and offered you moon and the stars and an opportunity to live in paradise, you should rather turn a blind eye on it. This is also true with any offer of quick-rich-schemes. Let us just think that PCGG’s efforts to recover the alleged ill-gotten wealth of Marcoses have proved futile up to this very moment.

I am told to meet with Belyn tomorrow. I texted her that I will not be coming but she said she will rather be meeting with my godfather Nanding because the latter has previously made a commitment to speak with her. I then picked up the phone, called Ninong Nanding and informed him about the story behind Bullion Buyer Ltd. scam. Good that I was able to convince him to become skeptic at it and assured me that he will outright turn the offer down.

To further verify this story about Bullion Buyer Ltd. scam, you may call or text Calvento Files at the following mobile numbers: 09213263166, 09213784392, and 09198972854 or you may call their landline at 6387285 and 7104038.

Do you believe that Bullion Buyer Ltd. is a scam? I would love to hear from you in the comment section.