MANILA, Philippines - Delays in the preliminary investigation have hampered authorities from running after officials of the Aman Futures Group Phils. Inc. that allegedly defrauded investors of P12 billion.
Aman Board member Fernando Luna and his wife Nimfa asked a Department of Justice panel more time to submit their counter-affidavits to the complaints filed by several investors. They claimed they did not have enough time to answer the complaints, having received them only a few days before.
The panel reset the next hearing to Dec. 27 at 11 a.m. The Lunas will have to personally subscribe to their counter-affidavits until then.
This means that the panel may not be able to resolve the first set of complaints and subsequently secure arrest warrants against Aman Futures head Manuel Amalilio and other respondents before the end of the year. The last working day for 2012 is on December 28.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Edna Valenzuela, head of the special panel of DOJ conducting the preliminary investigation, noted that no less than “the complainants agreed to this resetting.”
Earlier reports claimed Amalilio is hiding in Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia. The arrest warrant is needed in order that the International Police and the Malaysian government can assist in his arrest and return to the Philippines.
The panel first set the hearing on December 5. This was cancelled, however, due to the devastation brought by typhoon "Pablo" across Mindanao, where most investors are from.
The DOJ was earlier criticized for the slow pace in the investigation.