Alleged Filipino conman Manuel Amalilio was given a legal and valid Phillipines passport in 2009. This means he automatically lost his citizenship under Article 24 of the federal constitution.
PETALING JAYA: Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman must explain the depth of his ‘family’ ties with alleged Filipino conman Manuel Amililio and why he obstructed the later’s arrest and deportation to the Philipinnes. He also must explain why the entire court proceedings involving Amililo was carried out in a hospital.
Musa had last week admitted that Amalilio was a ‘distant relative’ but said ‘whether or not’ they were related the authorities must carry out a thorough investigation.
Amililio, was arrested last November and immediately ‘handed over’ to the Philippines police. But 10minutes before boarding the flight the decision was rescinded and he was returned to Sabah police.
The Philippines government claimed that Musa had obstructed Amililio’s deportation. Musa has however denied this.
Earlier today opposition MPs Tian Chua (Batu) and R.Sivarasa (Subang) said the whole incident was reeking with questions.
Sivarasa said it was ‘bizarre’ that Amililio’s court proceedings was held at the hospital on instruction of the Attorney General.
Recapping the sequence of events, Sivarasa said that last November, the Philippines issued a warrant of arrest for Amililio. On Jan 22, Malaysian police arrested Amalilio in Sabah.
“Malaysian police physically handed him over with a Philippines passport. There is no question about the validity of the passport.
“However, 10 minutes before he boarded the flight, under the instruction of the Sabah CPO, he was prevented from boarding the flight as there was ‘something wrong with the procedure, therefore he couldn’t leave Sabah’,” said Sivarasa.
Sivarasa added that on Feb 5 Amalilio was at the Queen Elizabeth hospital, and the defense lawyer, prosecuting officer and judge were there under the Attorney General’s (A-G) instruction for a court proceeding at the hospital.
“This is bizarre, they basically had the whole court moved to the hospital and Amalilio even conveniently pleaded guilty on the charge of having a fake Filipino passport.
“If it was a remand, it is understandable but to have an actual prosecution like this is highly unusual. Also, how did the police determine that the passport was fake?
Amalilio is wanted in the Philippines for scamming 15,000 Filipinos of RM859 million under a company known as Aman Futures Group. Amalillo had claimed to be a nephew of Musa and Foreign Minister Anifah Aman when courting his victims.
Sivarasa, Tian Chua and PKR secretary-general Darrel Leiking had gone to the Philipinnes to investigate Amalilio’s background and to seek justice for the Malaysian victims of Amililio’s scam.
Tian Chua said their investigations had raised “a lot of suspicions”.
He said Amalilio seemed to have good connections in the Philippines as he had the backing of the mayor in Mindanao, private jets, heavy security for operations and branches everywhere.
“All these have raised a lot of suspicion and all evidence point to the Sabah chief minister that he had obstructed Amalilio’s return to the Philippines to stand for trial.
“We call upon Musa Aman to come clean. Why, really, did he intervene?
“Was it out of compassion because Amalilio is his nephew or did Amalilio share his money begotten from his get-rich quick scheme for election contribution?” queried Tian Chua.
Both claimed they had gone to the Philippines on a fact-finding mission because they were stirred to do an investigation after Musa admitted that Amalilio was related to him.
“We went to the Philippines to try to understand why he was charged with having a fake passport.
“The Filipinos said that Amalilio is a Filipino who had cheated over 15,000 people for nearly RM 1 billion. This prompted us to investigate, and to seek justice for Amalilio’s victims in Malaysia and Philippines.
Protecting a criminal
Tian Chua said that when Amalilio was arrested, he had with him a Malaysian passport, Malaysian identification card and also his Philippines passport.
“From our investigations, he is registered as a voter in Beaufort. Right now there’s a conflict, who really is this guy? Is he Malaysian, or is he Filipino?
“Nevertheless, once you receive a foreign passport, you automatically lose citizenship article 24 under the federal constitution states that if a citizen applies for a foreign passport, the government may deprive that person of his citizenship.
Tian Chua added that based on their trip to the Philippines, it was determined that Amalilio was given a legal and valid Philippines passport in 2009 which enabled him to go in and out of the country.
“So in a technical sense, he is no longer a Malaysian citizen.
Tian Chua added that it seems that things have been intentionally designed to obstruct the legal proceeding in Philippines.
“We hope that the prime minister will intervene to allow the Phillippines to take him back for trial,” he said.
He stressed that it is for the Philippines to determine whether his passport is fake or not.
“There’s a bigger crime here, which is of squandering money. Malaysia has a legal and moral obligation to help the Philippines.
Tian Chua further questioned Musa and the authorities’ fears.
“Why are they so scared? Are they scared that if Amalilio were to stand for trial in the Philippines, it will expose things which they cannot afford to be exposed?
“We should save the image of Malaysia, because right now from the Philippines’ point of view, we are protecting a criminal,” he said.
When asked who they consulted during their trip to the Philippines, the three mentioned that they met relevant authorities, lawyers and journalists who showed a lot of information to verify various facts.