MANILA, Philippines – Malaysian authorities have frozen assets owned by Manuel Amalilio, founder of the firm believed to have duped thousands of Filipinos of some P12 billion, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima confirmed on Saturday.
"I confirm the reported freezing of Amalilio's assets in Malaysia. Such development is one of the positive outcomes of the recent talks/engagement with Malaysian authorities," de Lima said in a text message.
"We made a formal request for such freezing and other forms of assitance under the ASEAN MLAT (Association of Southeast Asian Nations Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty)," she continued.
De Lima said Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar and Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya headed negotiations with Malaysian authorities, specifically Attorney General Tan Sri Gani Patail.
After a meeting last February 6, De Lima said the Malaysian Attorney General ordered the freeze on Amalilio's assets including company shares, stocks, land assets, etc.
Amalilio, who is facing lawsuits in the Visayas and Mindanao, fled to Sabah in November last year. He was tracked down and arrested by Malaysian Interpol in January and was supposed to be flown back to Manila but was blocked by Malaysian authorities.
He was later sentenced to two years in prison by a court in Kota Kinabalu for possession of a fake passport. -- Report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News