Marcos wealth yarn scammers recruited in public, on social media

Marcos wealth yarn scammers recruited in public, on social media

DAVAO ORIENTAL, Philippines – Mati City fisherman Felixberto Capohan said he filled out a form in April to become a member of a group that promised help once then-presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. win and take office.

Eight months later, Caponohan still hopes that the JTS-JE group will fulfill its promise to deliver the sustenance he promised from Marcos in exchange for his P300 membership fee.

JTS-JE is all over social media giving instructions on how to fill out its forms and what requirements to submit in order to be entitled to benefits.

On social media, it presented itself as a foundation with an office in Davao City, but there are indications that its operations extend beyond the Davao region, such as in General Santos in Soccsksargen.

Pointing to a blank membership form, Caponahan told Rappler: “I filled it out in April, at the height of the election campaign period. All my neighbors and I paid P300 each as membership fee.”

Like two other groups – Maharlika and United BBM Loyalist International – JTS-JE did not issue any receipts and “just told us to trust them to distribute financial assistance from Bongbong Marcos once he became the president,” Capohan said.

PNP is investigating Marcos' wealth-grabbing scam in the Davao region

Needless to say, the JTS-JE’s promise meant votes from its recruits.

Davao Regional Police Director Benjamin Silo Jr. on Thursday, December 15, ordered a region-wide investigation into the recruitment and collection of fees from people by Maharlika and United BBM Loyalist International.

‘P100,000 Livelihood Support’

Silo’s order comes a day after Rappler reported how the two groups allegedly spun the tale of the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth to entice thousands of mostly poor people to pay fees ranging from P500 to P1,000 each, believed to be in exchange for financial returns of as much as P500,000 per member.

But unlike the two groups, JTE-JE promised livelihood assistance of P50,000 to P100,000 each from Marcos, to be sourced from his family’s wealth, said several of the group’s recruits in Davao Oriental.

The recruitment activities have been going on for some time in public, sometimes even in closed courts and on social media.

Videos and photos posted on Facebook showed large gatherings in covered courts, and at least in November on Youtube gave specific instructions on how to apply.

Already in October, Tagum Mayor Rey Uy warned against a group distributing JTS-JE membership forms and promising help in his city’s villages, reports local broadcaster DXDN-Radyo Ukay.

After the May elections, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) office in Kapalong, Davao del Norte also warned about a group collecting membership fees ranging from P150 to P200 each with a promise of help from Marcos .

Recruiters in government?

JTS-JE members in Mati who spoke to Rappler said the recruiters included government employees who made the group appear as a credible organization.

“I know some government employees here who are among the top recruiters of JTS-JE. One of them is an employee of the local government,” according to fishmonger Castrudez Emmanuel.

A JTS-JE recruiter, who spoke to Rappler on Friday, December 16 on condition of anonymity, said the Davao City-based group promised her and other Mati-based recruiters a monthly allowance of P5,000 a month since January to promise

“I was asked to recruit many people, but I did not ask a single centavo from them. After the orientation, I just provided my recruits with membership forms for them to fill out. Not a single centavo was collected from them. I did not ask money from my recruits. As instructed, I just told my recruits that they will get financial assistance from the Marcos family,” she said.

Now she said she began to doubt whether JTS-JE is what it claims to be after months of working for that group.

She added, “I cannot say today if JTS-JE is a legitimate charitable arm of the Marcos family because they have not even refunded the money I spent to travel to Davao City for a week-long seminar on how to recruit members. They promised to pay us for our work, but we have not received any amount yet.”

Caponahan said he was already aware of groups such as Maharlika and the United BBM Loyalist International, but chose JTS-JE because it was the first to recruit members in his village.

JTS-JE required more detailed information from applicants and their family members.

“Apart from the P300 we each paid as membership fee, we were asked by JTS-JE to submit family portraits so that we can all avail financial assistance from the Marcos family,” said Annaliza Jalandoni of Barangay Sentral in Mati City.

Applicants were required to submit four 1×1 photographs against a specified royal blue background, and copies of their valid identification cards. They were also asked to write down their full names, ages, dates of birth, home addresses, medical status and mobile phone numbers.

A copy of a JTS-JE membership form shows a column for names and a note that reads: “This is to certify that the following names are entitled to (sic) different and more benefits.” –

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