Quantcast
Latest Stories

Gov’t told to prosecute local execs in Aman scam

By

JAIL TIME Aman head Manuel Amalilio, founder of Aman Futures that duped 15,000 Filipinos of P12 billion, talks to his lawyer in Kota Kinabalu where a court sentenced him at least two years in prison for carrying a fraudulently obtained Philippine passport. MALAYSIA’S THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Lawmakers on Wednesday told government officials not to cry over the loss of Aman Futures Group head Manuel Amalilio to the Malaysians and instead start prosecuting governors, mayors and other local government officials who were instrumental in luring thousands of their constituents into putting money in the con man’s Ponzi scheme.

“The government should not wait for Amalilio’s return but begin prosecution of mayors and governors involved,” Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello said.

“I think the evidence is very strong against them that the testimony of Amalilio will just be icing on the cake,” Bello said.

Amalilio was arrested in Sabah late last month on charges of passport fraud.

He pleaded guilty to the charges on Monday. He faced fine of up to 10,000 Malaysian ringgits (about P132,000) or imprisonment of two to five years or both.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Philippine law would eventually catch up with Amalilio.

Valte said Amalilio’s imprisonment in Sabah meant only a delay in prosecuting him in the Philippines for cheating 15,000 Filipinos, who lost P12 billion in his Ponzi scheme.

“While there may be a delay, it’s not a deterrent” to exacting accountability from Amalilio, Valte said.

Close ties with Malaysia

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the Philippines’ close ties with Malaysia would help the Department of Justice (DOJ) get Amalilio back.

“We believe the conviction of Amalilio by a Malaysian court is not the end of the world. It merely represents a delay in the attainment of that aspiration,” De Lima said in a statement she issued following Amalilio’s conviction in a Magistrates Court in Kota Kinabalu.

De Lima said the government would continue to “explore and exhaust all available and reasonable means” to ensure that Amalilio would face estafa charges in the Philippines.

“Our lines with our counterparts in the Malaysian government remain open. We shall count on the goodwill we have with them so that a solution can be arrived at,” De Lima said.

‘Coprincipals’

Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao said legal action on the Aman Futures scam should not wait for Amalilio’s return to the Philippines.

Aggabao said the local government officials who helped Amalilio con investors were “coprincipals in varying degrees of participation” with Aman Futures owner.

“Besides, they are solidarily liable with Amalilio for the civil indemnity owed the investors,” Aggabao said.

Aggabao stressed that the case should not live or die with Amalilio considering that Amalilio could not have won the trust of thousands of people into parting with their money on his own.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan said the government should not hang its head down after losing Amalilio but look forward to going after all people involved in the Aman Futures scam.

“Aman should be held to account for the scam but pending the resolution of his (Amalilio’s) case, [the] government should vigorously prosecute all others involved,” said Pangilinan.

Amalilio still key

But Sen. Serge Osmeña said that Amalilio was still the key to getting back the loot from Aman Futures.

“I am not a lawyer, but I believe Amalilio is the key. You may be correct [that governors and mayors were involved], but they will all claim they were all fooled by Aman,” Osmeña said.

Last November, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered an audit of provinces, cities, and towns in Zamboanga, Northern Mindanao, and Soccsksargen regions amid reports that billions of pesos of their internal revenue allotment (IRA) funds were invested in Amalilio’s scam.

With governors, mayors and other local government officials endorsing Aman Futures’ get-rich-quick scheme, thousands of people became confident and invested their savings in the scam only within weeks of its established early last year, initially in Pagadian City and later in Muslim communities in Mindanao and the Visayas.

Arrested last month

 

Amalilio was arrested in Kota Kinabalu last month for carrying fraudulent identification papers. A team from the National Bureau of Investigation went to Kota Kinabalu to escort him back home but his departure was stopped by Malaysian police for unclear reasons.

Sabah’s chief officer earlier said Malaysia was willing to turn over Amalilio but the Philippine government should observe proper procedures under the Association of Southeast Asian Nation’s Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Acts 2002.

Scammer Filipino

Minerva Retanal of the NBI antifraud unit said Amalilio is a Filipino. “Based on all the documents he submitted to various agencies he is Filipino,” she said.

Retanal said that based on her unit’s investigation, Amalilio also violated the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

More than 11,000 victims of Amalilio have formally filed their complaints in the NBI, she said.—With reports from Michael Lim Ubac, Christine O. Avendaño and Nancy C. Carvajal


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Aman Futures Group , Government Officials , Manuel Amalilio , Philippines , Ponzi scam , Scam




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  2. Cagayan mayor shot dead after flag-raising ceremony
  3. Obama, family cause a small stir at Easter service
  4. Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return
  5. ‘Malang’ next crocodile attraction after ‘Lolong’
  6. Gigi Reyes’ only option: tell all
  7. Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
  8. Ancient enigmatic carvings in danger of disappearing
  9. New plant to boost supply of clean energy
  10. More bodies from ship; transcript reveals wavering
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  • Why are Americans obsessed with missing plane?
  • Napoles to have surgery on Tuesday – report
  • Mayor’s assassination linked to black sand mining controversy
  • Initial batch of Etihad passengers tested negative for MERS-CoV
  • Sports

  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Ilad’s last-second basket lifts Gems over Bakers
  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement