Feb 012013
Malacañang on Saturday said efforts are still being undertaken to bring home Manuel Amalilio, the suspected brains behind a P12-billion investment pyramiding scam, amid rumors that he was a nephew of a top official of Sabah.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Palace has yet to verify the supposed ties between Amalilio and the chief minister of Sabah’s Chief Minister Musa Aman.

“We don’t have any verification to that effect, but only the assurance the Philippine side will continue to work with local police authorities for his deportation to the country,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.

When asked what the government will do if Amalilio is indeed related to Aman, Valte said, “we don’t at this point want to speculate on that particular allegation.”

She declined to comment further on the supposed ties of Amalilio to Aman, saying she would defer to the Justice, Foreign Affairs and Interior departments.

 The Philippines will continue working with local authorities “to do whatever we can to ensure his return,” she added.

“As far as we are concerned, we submitted all the documentation required primarily to prove Amalilio is a Filipino citizen,” she added.

On Saturday, a report on The Philippine Star had quoted Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as saying Amalilio is a nephew of Aman.

 Anwar alleged that Amalilio’s mother is Musa’s first cousin, and that Amalilio’s real name is Kamal bin Said, born in Beaufort, Sabah.

However, Anwar was also quoted as saying Amalilio is married to a Filipina, and holds a Philippine passport.

Amalilio, whose firm was linked to a P12-billion investment pyramiding scam, was arrested in Malaysia for possession of a fraudulent Malaysian passport and IDs.

However, when a National Bureau of Investigation team went to fetch him last weekend, the procedure was blocked at the last minute.

Last weekend, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said pending cases in Malaysia are preventing the return of Amalilio to the Philippines. – VVP, GMA News

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