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Latest News Philippines: SCAM ‘BRAINS’ NOT COMING –

THE scheduled deportation of alleged pyramiding mastermind Manuel Amalilio did not push through last night due to incomplete papers, a senior security official tasked to receive him at the NAIA Terminal 3 said.

The official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the information was relayed to him by Senior Supt. Charlo Collado, the Philippine police attaché to Malaysia who will escort the fugitive back to Manila. “Me mga kulang pang papeles kaya hindi pinayagan ng Malaysia,” he quoted Collado as saying. The official said the deportation will be rescheduled as soon as the papers are completed.

DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and NBI director Nonnatus Rojas confirmed the story.

Roxas said Amalilio was already handcuffed to Collado when stopped by Malaysia airport authorities. 

More linked to scam

More big politicians and other VIPs were expected to be linked to the P12-billion pyramiding scam involving the Aman Futures Inc. after Amalilio’s repatriation from Malaysia, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said yesterday.

De Lima expected more information from the suspected pyramiding boss who was set to be returned last night from Malaysia escorted by Philippine National Police attaché in Malaysia Superintendent Charlo Collado and National Bureau of Investigation agents.

“Based on the investigation of the NBI, there are VIPs and high-ranking officials in that area involved in the scam – not just Pagadian City but also in nearby cities and municipalities, not just Zamboanga del Sur but also nearby provinces,” De Lima told reporters.

She said the complainants themselves revealed the involvement of these ranking officials and VIPs in the scam.

“I think he knows a lot. He would know exactly who the investors are,” she stressed.

So far, only Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co and treasurer Flornina Gerona were charged with syndicated estafa before the Department of Justice.

The two were accused of aiding the firm in enticing investors from the city.  Co admitted he tried to legitimize the operations of the firm last year.

De Lima said the charges against Co are now under preliminary investigation by the special panel chaired by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Edna Valenzuela.

“I think the complaints against Mayor Co will be resolved soon,” she added.

High security risk

For his own safety the authorities had readied a bulletproof vest for Amalilio to wear and a bulletproof vehicle which would take him from the airport.

“We can certainly consider him as a high-risk prisoner. He is a high-risk detainee so appropriate security measures have to be put in place,” the DoJ chief said.

She said they would not oppose a request by Amalilio to be detained in the NBI headquarters in Manila instead of being jailed in Pagadian City where he was ordered held by Pagadian City Regional Trial Court Branch 20 in the arrest warrant issued last January 11.

“That would be understandable because of security concerns… It appears valid why they don’t want to be detained in the province,” she stressed.

But the DoJ chief said they would leave the detention issue for the RTC to decide.

Apart from Amalilio, also ordered arrested were Aman president Fernando Luna and his wife Nimfa; the five board members who had earlier cooperated with the probe of the NBI – Leila Lim Gan, Eduard Lim, Willanie Fuentes, Naezelle Rodriguez and Lurix Lopez; and two other officers, Dhurwen Wenceslao and Dona Coyme.

With Hector Lawas


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