Time ripe for Amalilio extradition talks?

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 23 2013 04:51 PM | Updated as of Apr 24 2013 12:51 AM

MANILA - Justice Secretary Leila De Lima will discuss with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) the timeliness of sending to Malaysia the government panel tasked to initiate the extradition and forfeiture of assets of Aman Futures founder Manuel Amalilio.

Amalilio, who faces syndicated estafa charges here in the Philippines, is detained in Malaysia for violations of its immigration laws.

Amalilio's firm is believed to have duped investors of around P12 billion, described by De Lima as the largest pyramiding scheme in the Philippines, to date.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) panel's travel to Malaysia has been put on hold in the wake of tensions between Malaysian authorities and followers of the Sulu Sultanate in Lahad Datu, Sabah. The panel, headed by Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar, was supposed to fly to Malaysia on March 13 to 15 to initiate the necessary legal processes.

"I'll be consulting soon with the DFA on whether it [will] be timely for us, specifically, sending the team... nagdie down na ang situation sa Sabah, it might be timely. I need to consult the Secretary of Foreign Affairs," De Lima said in a chance interview with reporters.

The panel's other members include Prosecutor General Claro Arellano, Chief State Counsel Ricardo Paras III, State Counsels Mildred Bernadette Alvor and Maria Laureen Suan, and Prosecution Attorneys Mark Roland Estepa and Gail Stephanie Maderazo.