Mayor says son is innocent in alleged U.S. financial scam

Rey Grabato II

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

An Iloilo town mayor on Thursday defended her son against allegations linking him to two fraud cases in the United States, saying that his name was used by the real culprits in the cases.

Mina town Mayor Lydia Grabato told Daily Guardian that her son, Rey Grabato II, has not been connected to the National Realty Investment Advisors (NRIA) since April 2022.

This, after Rey II figured in an accident in February that damaged his brain. NRIA eventually forced him to resign.

The lady mayor narrated that her son had to undergo craniotomy at the Hackensack Medical Cemetery in New Jersey for a subdural hematoma, which was the result of internal bleeding in the brain.

He arrived home in Mina on May 8 and has been recuperating in the town ever since, with some instances of strokes and fainting.

“He was already terminated, he was made to resign because he was incapacitated. Somebody is already managing [NRIA]. He has no name there. He would have returned to America [in June] but he has had three strokes since he came home on May 8, so it was very dangerous for him,” Mayor Grabato said in a phone call.

“He could no longer hand out documents because he was blocked out. He cannot get access because as far as they are concerned, he is no longer an employee,” she added.

She said that neither Rey II nor their family received any subpoena or document on his US indictment, and whatever had been published online was also what they had learned.

The Department of Justice (SEC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States in two separate releases on October 13 and 14 announced the filing of criminal and civil charges against Grabato and other NRIA officials for fraud to the tune of US$650 million.


Mayor Grabato explained that Rey II was made President and Chief Executive Officer of NRIA, only in name, due to his educational background and experience, as well as a clean record.

“He is just working as an employee of the NRIA, and he is doing what is being told. He signs the checks, he pays the expenses, and he pays the employees. When recruiting investors, he has nothing to do [with them]. He doesn’t know many people. He is just there to sign, shake hands, and do community jobs. The SEC knows that,” the mayor remarked.

Rey II went to the United States after graduating from college to further his education as well as work to finance his studies.

Mayor Grabato said that if Rey II is ever required to return to the United States to face the charges, then he “would face it head-on.”

“What is important is that there is an investigation, and then they would know if there is a paper trail in what has been alleged against him, because he couldn’t have been able to travel or get money. We need to wait for the results of the investigation,” she said.

“He will face that. That is part of due process. That is why we are waiting for documents because he doesn’t know what to face. If there are any papers calling him, he will face that. We will not allow him not to face that because that is the rule of court, to prove himself innocent, [and] that he [and his name] was being used,” she added.

Rey Grabato II’s LinkedIn profile indicated that he had worked for the NRIA since 2006, rising from the ranks and was named its President and Chief Executive Officer before the time of the announced October indictments against him.