MANILA - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the government needs to wait a little longer before Aman Futures ringleader Manuel Amalilio is extradited from Malaysia.
In an interview with ANC, de Lima said Malaysian laws prescribe that Amalilio, who is wanted in the Philippines for supposedly duping investors of billions of pesos, needs to serve around 15 months of his two-year sentence in a Sabah prison before he can be extradited.
“Now they were saying around 15 months to serve, if not the full two-year sentence. But I think it can be subject to negotiations…We can target a shorter period so that we can have him extradited,” she said.
She said their counterparts in Malaysia have already assured they will help the Philippine government.
The Philippines does not have an extradition treaty with Malaysia but has an mutual legal assistance pact under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Amalilio was set to board a plane to the Philippines last January 25 but Malaysian authorities blocked his departure.
Amalilio, who is known in Malaysia as Mohammad Kamal Sa’ad, was arrested at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport with a supposedly fake passport under the name “Manuel Karingal Amalilio.”
De Lima said the news that came out in Malaysia that authorities rejected Amalilio’s extradition only referred to “an immediate extradition.” She said, “it’s not really possible [immediate extradition] because he is in jail, he needs to serve the sentence.”
She said the Department of Justice will “soon” form a team composed of prosecutors, which will be deployed to Malaysia to address the extradition process.