DESPITE the Malaysian government refusal to extradite Manuel Amalilio to the Philippines, the Department of Justice (DOJ) still plans to appeal to Kuala Lumpur to hand over to Manila the man allegedly behind the P12-billion Aman Futures pyramiding scam.
Amalilio is facing multiple syndicated estafa charges in the Philippines after he victimized thousands of Filipinos in the Visayas and Mindanao.
According to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, a DOJ legal team is scrutinizing the possibility of the Philippine government formally requesting the Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs to extradite Amalilio.
“[We are still trying to know the] reasons behind it [denial of the extradition request]. We want to get… a written order or a written decision [for us to be able to know the reasons why extradition proceedings were discontinued]. [We are studying the matter]. [First of all, we will try to know if the DOJ can make the Malaysian government reconsider its decision to reject the extradition plea]. [We are hoping that such option under Malaysian laws is available to us],” de Lima said.
The Justice secretary expressed disgust over the denial of Manila’s extradition request, saying she was “actually disappointed” about it.
She argued that Amalilio should face Philippine courts and have his day to present his case.
“We are committed to exert means on how to really make Amalilio face our justice system, for him to account for his alleged crimes,” de Lima said.
Amalilio went to Malaysia after a raft of criminal charges were filed against him before the DOJ.
De Lima said while there exists no extradition treaty between the Philippines and Malaysia, the DOJ still requested his extradition, citing Malaysian extradition laws.
Amalilio was arrested in Malaysia and was sentenced there to a two-year jail term for violations of Malaysia’s passport laws but has since been released.
A Malaysian citizen, he is reportedly a nephew of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman.
Amalilio fled the Philippines for Sabah in November 2012 after President Benigno Aquino 3rd ordered his arrest.
The Philippines came close to capturing him last year but was stopped by Malaysian authorities at the last minute.
WITH BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON