San Franz residents dismayed by townmate DJ’s link to scam

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 24 October) — Residents here were shocked to learn that a popular homegrown multi-talented FM radio music disc jockey here who tried his luck in other money-making businesses in neighboring provinces turned out to be involved in a multi-million investment scam.

News posted on social media on the arrest of Arnel Aratea in Sto. Tomas town in Davao del Norte drew mixed reactions from his friends and town mates who were surprised that he was involved in illicit investment scheme flagged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

San Francisco, Agusan del Sur and Santo Tomas in Davao del Norte. Map courtesy of Google Maps

Among those outspoken on social media were a friend and a close associate while others who know him well expressed their disgust in private messages over group chat on Facebook.

“What happened to you my friend? If you want to earn and make money that would be easy for you since you are such a multi-talented person. Just be contented with what God has given you. I feel sorry for you,” said Jose Bunilla, former long-time provincial board member who rose to fame as singer-entertainer-composer of Cebuano novelty songs in local events in the province which propelled him to become a politician.

Numer Plaza Lalisan, Jr., who said Aratea has been his partner as a crowd drawing singer during election campaign period also expressed dismay. “ If you only stayed here in our town you would have been very popular DJ in FM stations, “ he said.

Aratea, who used the handle “DJ Kevin John,” has been in the local airwaves for many years and at times performed in local singing events. He left the town a few years back after being caught in the imbroglio of instant money-making scheme by having relationships with moneyed women.

His arrest in Sto. Tomas town on October 20 was related to his alleged involvement in soliciting investments from the public at amounts ranging from P5,000 to P1 million, with a promised quarterly return of up to 30 percent.

Aratea, 47, was arrested pursuant to a warrant issued by Judge Vernard Quijano of the Regional Trial Court Branch 153 in Biñan City, Laguna province, for syndicated estafa and violation of the Securities Regulation Code.

The suspect was identified as the president of the group called Achievers and Golden Marketing and Consulting (AGMC), which has an office in a radio station he owns in RPJ Village, Barangay Tibal-og, Sto. Tomas.

In September 2020, the SEC released an advisory warning the public to stop investing in AGMC and Achievers Golden Holdings Inc. as these did not have legal personality to solicit investments.

At that time, AGMC also had an office in the Valencia Corporate Center in Davao City.

Based on the advisory, AGMC was luring investors to its “cashback program” that accepts investments ranging from P5,000 to P1 million with a promise of profit of between 1 percent and 30 percent, depending on the amount and the investment period, which was up to three months.  (Chris V. Panganiban / MindaNews)