Government working for Aman Futures head’s extradition-A A +A
Sunday, February 10, 2013
MANILA (Updated) -- Investment scam leader Manuel Amalilio may be flown back to the Philippines to face several cases even before the end of his two-year jail term for possession of fake passport, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said late Saturday.
De Lima said the country secured the commitment following initial talks last February 6 by Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar and Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya with Malaysian Attorney General Tan Sri Gani Patail.
“The Philippines can avail of the extradition process even if we do not have an extradition process (with Malaysia). And, in such a process, we understand that Amalilio's citizenship is not an issue and both sides can cooperate,” she said in a text message.
Earlier, there were speculations that Amalilio’s imprisonment complicated efforts to prosecute him in a Pagadian court on cases of multi-million peso syndicated estafa since Kuala Lumpur considered him as a Malaysian citizen, contrary to the claim of the Department of Justice that he is a Filipino.
Patail reportedly assured that “both sides can work out possible access by Philippine police and prosecutors” to Amalilio while in prison, according to de Lima.
She also confirmed that Malaysian authorities have frozen Amalilio’s assets upon the Philippines’ request under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
Covered by the freeze order are Amalilio’s company shares, stocks, and land assets, among others.
Some 15,000 people claimed to have lost P12 billion worth of investments to Aman Futures Group Philippines Inc. headed by Amalilio, who is currently at the male medical ward of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu undergoing treatment for a supposed liver ailment.
He went into hiding last November when news of the firm’s illegal operations came out. Amalilio was then arrested in Malaysia in late January but was not allowed to board a plane back to Manila because of a pending case there.
He pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of fake Philippine passport on February 5. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)