Aguirre lauds arrest of 2 ‘Yolanda’ donation scam suspects


MANILA– Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre on Tuesday lauded the agents of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on the arrest of two persons for duping people into donating for victims of super typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

Aguirre identified the fraud suspects as Engr. Desiderio Estinozo and Nestor Lehetemas who were arrested by NBI Anti-Fraud Division Operatives in Malate, Manila.

“Based on the information provided to us by the NBI, the subjects are the alleged perpetrators of fraudulent acts involving around € 100,000 euros or PHP6,000,000,” Aguirre said in a statement.

Following their arrest on Monday, Estinozo and Lehetemas were immediately brought to the NBI headquarters where they were booked, photographed and fingerprinted.

“I commend the efforts exerted by our NBI agents involved in this case for their arrests of the respondents. Now we can make the wheels of justice move faster,” the DOJ chief said.

According to the NBI report submitted to Aguirre, the two suspects hacked the e-mail addresses of the Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas or PhilDHRRA, a network of non-government organizations (NGOs), and Fundacion InteRed, a Spanish NGO, that are raising funds for typhoon Yolanda-affected areas.

The agreement between the agencies said that Fundacion InteRed will provide funding for the project of PhilDHRRA that will help in repairing and rehabilitating damaged structures in three island barangays in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

But the DOJ said the suspects “were able to cause an amendment to the Memorandum of Agreement to facilitate a change in the banks involved in the fund transfer arrangement from the bank account of PhilDHRRA to the account of DTE Construction and Development Corporation in Cebu City.”

The DOJ also said a case for estafa was filed against DTE Corporation and its president. The warrant of arrest was issued by Davao City Regional Trial Court Branch 17.

“A case for estafa was filed against the DTE Corporation, its President, Engr. Estinozo et., al., This case became Criminal Case No. R-DVO-16-00745-CR. On February 22, 2016, Branch 17 of the RTC of Davao City issued the Warrant of Arres,” the DOJ said.

On June 15, 2017, Aguirre said complainants led by Glenn Bais filed a request to serve the said warrant of arrest with the NBI Anti-Fraud Division.

“There is no place in our society for people who take advantage of the sufferings of others. To make money out of a calamity is very deplorable and should not be tolerated. These alleged perpetrators will be prosecuted to the full extent of our laws,” Aguirre said.