Exclusive: Philippines Warns Against Crypto Scam Using President’s Kin, Politicians to Lure Victims

Philippine Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque warned the public against a potential cryptocurrency scam that uses the name of the President's brother and prominent politician to entice victims.

The Philippines on Thursday warned against a potential cryptocurrency scam that is using the names of President Rodrigo Duterte and members of the Senate to entice victims into investing.

Philippine Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr., made the statement after the name of Duterte’s younger brother, Emmanuel, became the latest influential figure to be dragged into Digital Currency Co.’s (DCC) virtual currency venture Philippine Global Coin.

Roque stated:

“For your information, now that the President’s brother [is being dragged into that cryptocurrency scam], the President has asked me at least three times to announce and inform the public not to entertain any person peddling their alleged influence with the President, including his relatives.”

The Philippine Global Coin gained notoriety in late January after the DCC principal, a certain Boy Joven, claimed to have entered into a partnership with Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III to attract clients.

But Pimentel quickly denied his affiliation with the cryptocurrency and sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an investigation and file charges if necessary.

Pimentel said in a statement:

 "There is no partnership between me and DCC, or the Senate and DCC. I met with these people as a matter of courtesy to visitors. I am shocked at their bold claims of an agreement between us using pictures that politicians normally have with visitors.

"The government will never engage in activities that will profit off their sacrifices and hard work. Always check with the Philippine Embassy to verify individual claims of this nature.”

At the same time, the Senate president called on the public to "be wary of those who use the names of government officials and institutions in investment schemes."

According to Roque, Duterte instructed him to advise the Filipino public to stay away even from his siblings to prevent influence-peddling.

He went on to say:

“The President has not given any of his siblings to engage in business with the government. We have been saying this for a long time, repeatedly. However, the President cannot control all of his relatives, but we always remind the public, the President is not involved in any of his siblings’ business dealings.”

In addition, the President’s spokesperson told the public to report to the presidential office if they have information that any member of Duterte’s relatives or siblings are peddling their alleged “close relationship” with him to gain favors.

"Do not believe anyone who will approach you and say that they are close to the President and can give you an undue advantage [in business]. The President does not condone such things," Roque stated.

In March, the Philippine’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued separate public warnings against two online digital platforms suspected of running scams. One of the alleged frauds promises high returns on investments in a short time, while another pledges gains for recruiting investors.