(Updated 2:57 p.m.) Manuel Amalilio, head of a company implicated in a multi-billion peso investment scam, has been taken into custody in Malaysia, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Wednesday. In a chance interview, De Lima said Amalilio has been taken into the custody of Malaysian immigration for "possession of fraudulent Malaysian passport and identificiation cards." A report on GMA News TV's "Balitanghali" said Amalilio was nabbed in Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday. Amalilio flew to Malaysia late last year after his company, Aman Futures Group Philippines Inc., was linked to a P12-billion scam that allegedly victimized hundreds of investors. Aman Futures is accused of defrauding investors through the "Ponzi Scheme," in which the firm misrepresents itself as a company engaged in futures trading and lured investors by offering between 20 to 80 percent interest within eight to 20 days. Deportation De Lima said Philippine officials are already coordinating with Malaysian authorities to work out Amalilio's immediate deportation. She also said a team from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), a constitueny agency under the Department of Justice, will fly to Malaysia on Wednesday night to arrest the wanted Aman Futures founder. Amalilio and nine others were ordered arrested by Presiding Judge Dennis Vicoy of the Pagadian City Regional Trial Court Branch 20 in connection with the alleged scam. Other accused who are already in government custody are Aman president Fernando Luna and his wife Nimfa Caballero-Luna; Aman incorporators Donna Coyme, Lelian Lim Gan, Wilanie Fuentes, Nazelle Rodriguez, Eduardo Lim and Lurix Lopez; and Aman employee Dhurwen Wenceslao. — Gian Geronimo and Mark Merueñas/KBK, GMA News
Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday announced a $1.8-billion military upgrade to help defend his country's maritime territory against "bullies", amid an ever-worsening dispute with China.