Press Release
February 7, 2013


The government should engage the Malaysian government for the speedy transfer to the country of Manuel Amalilio, the mastermind of the wholesale Aman Futures pyramiding scam that defrauded Filipinos of an estimated P12 billion, Sen. Chiz Escudero said.

Amalilio, who was reported to have blood links with Malaysian royalty, was sentenced to two years in prison in Malaysia, where he fled after the lid was blown off his massive pyramiding racket in the Philippines.

Last Jan. 25, a high Sabah official allegedly blocked Amalilio's deportation to the Philippines.

The government should start pursuing negotiations with the Malaysian government which is reportedly open to turning over Amalilio to local authorities through procedures provided under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (Asean) Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 2002, Escudero added.

Escudero said diplomatic brinkmanship should be exercised in persuading Malaysian authorities to turn over Amalilio.

"The government should coordinate with the diplomatic and consular office in Malaysia, where we have a good representative in Ambassador Ed Malaya," the senator said.

"I expect Ambassador Malaya, who has a long experience as a diplomat, to resolve the catch-22 involving Amalilio. With the network of friends he has in the Malaysian government, I don't see why the problem should not be resolved," he added.

Escudero also continued to advise the public on the false promises offered by high return investments. "If it's too good to be true then it's not true," Escudero said.

"There is no substitute for hard work and at the end of the day, we should always look forward to earning our keep from hard work," he added.

The senator also urged the government to identify loopholes among different financial system monitoring agencies that allowed Aman Futures to operate with impunity its pyramiding scam without being flagged by regulators

Escudero particularly called the attention of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLAC) which he said ignored clear signals on the proliferation of the investment scam.

"My main worry is that Amalilio's con job wouldn't be the last in the country," Escudero added.

"It is a puzzle why all the tell-tale signs were ignored by AMLAC when bank transactions and activities by the Aman group and other related companies including a warning issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission investment scam," the senator said.

Escudero said while the Department of Justice (DOJ) was quick in launching efforts to repatriate Amalilio, complications arose after the Malaysian court sentenced Amalilio to a two-year detention over the use of fake passports.

While Malacañang said that the government's position is to respect the judicial process in Malaysia, the government should not stop efforts to seek Amalilio's repatriation and face the countless victims of the Aman scam who are all seeking justice for their shattered dreams of a better financial future.

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