MANILA, Philippines—The government will look into how much assets Manuel Amalilio owns in Malaysia in the form of investments in stocks and bank accounts, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said Thursday.
De Lima said a four-member team of state prosecutors and counsels will determine the estimate value of the assets of Amalilio in Malaysia when they go to Kuala Lumpur next week.
The team will be there to forward the Aquino administration’s formal request for the extradition of Amalilio, the brains behind Aman Futures Group of the Philippines, the company implicated in the alleged P12-billion Ponzi scheme that victimized 15,000 people in the Visayas and Mindanao, according to De Lima.
De Lima said the extradition request for Amalilio will be addressed to Malaysia’s Attorney General and Chief Home Minister.
De Lima said the Department of Justice, through Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar, Prosecutor General Claro Arellano and Chief State Counsel Ricardo Paras II, is now drafting the government’s formal request for extradition as well as a supplement request “for other forms of assistance and even the freezing of assets.”
“We need to send them to KL as soon as possible,” De Lima told reporters.
She said Malaysia’s Attorney General had already granted the government’s initial request for the freezing of Amalilio’s assets in Malaysia, but it will be forwarding a supplementary request that “will contain additional particulars or facts or information from our end with respect to the freezing of the assets.”
The justice secretary said Amalilio has invested in stocks and keeps bank accounts in Malaysia although the government does not have an “exact” list of his assets, which will be determined by the team going there.
Next to the freezing of assets is the forfeiture of assets, De Lima said.
She said the team has to determine the “legal steps necessary to forfeit these assets so they can be used for purposes of the cases against Amalilio and particularly for purposes of recovery by the victims,” De Lima said.
She said she was not familiar with Malaysia’s law on getting the assets of Amalilio.
“Under Malaysia’s law, there is a particular period within which the appropriate legal steps may be taken to get the assets of Amalilio within the period that his assets are frozen,” she said.