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GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Authorities said the killing of a woman here on Friday evening may be linked to the operations of an investment scam.
Lt. Bienvenido Venus Jr., deputy chief of the San Isidro police station, identified the victim as May Shiell Ladrera Villaflores, 27, a former agent of an illegal investment scheme operated by the controversial religious group Munificence Ministry.
Venus said Villaflores had just entered their compound in Barangay Conel at about 8:30 p.m. when an unidentified person approached and shot her.
Villaflores died on the spot after sustaining a gunshot wound on the face from a caliber .45 handgun, he said.
Citing accounts from witnesses, Venus said the lone gunman hastily left the scene aboard a waiting motorcycle driven by another person.
Jonathan Abugar, the victim’s boyfriend, said Villaflores had received text messages from investors, expressing anger against Munificence but that there were no direct threats against her.
Abugar said Villaflores was previously involved with the group and served as a “sub-leader.”
Venus said they were investigating the possible motives of the incident, including the victim’s connections with Munificence.
Munificence, founded by couple Roland and Doris Joseph, had solicited investments from the public in the form of donations at a monthly interest of 45 percent. It operated for several months here but eventually stopped sometime in July.
The group, which is the subject of more than 100 estafa complaints at the National Bureau of Investigation here, claimed that it was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under registration number CN201328348, which belongs to the Interdenominational Evangelical Church Ministries, Inc., a religious non-stock corporation.
The SEC said both entities are not authorized to solicit investments and declared their operations illegal. (PNA)
Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency