Ampatuan clan’s assets remain in deep ice, Court rules
MANILA, Philippines—The Court of Appeals extended the freeze order on the bank assets of the Ampatuan clan.
In a 5-page resolution, the Court of Appeals Special Second Division, ordered that the 20 day freeze order which was issued last month, be extended up to July 25, 2011.
The appeals court said that the order was issued to avoid confusion, pending the court’s resolution of the numerous motions to lift the freeze order.
The appeals court warned government agencies and banking institutions to comply with the order and submit a report to them, otherwise they will be cited in contempt.
Last month, in a 23-page resolution, the appeals court said they agree with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) that “probable cause exists that the subject bank accounts and other described properties of the respondents in the petition are related to unlawful activities.
Covered by the freeze order were the Ampatuans’ accounts in 32 banking, insurance and financial institutions, most of them located in several provinces in Mindanao.
The court temporarily stopped the financial transactions of Deal Gems and Jewelries Pawnshop and Maguindanao Electric Cooperative, which the Ampatuans reportedly owned.
The order also involved the Philippine National Police’s Firearms and Explosives Office, Land Transportation Office, Registry of Deeds offices in Davao City, Maguindanao and Cotabato City, and the provincial government of Maguindanao.
The agencies were directed to furnish the court and AMLC with a report containing bank account numbers with the names of its registered owners, and amounts they contained, properties and other important information.
A lifestyle check carried out by the AMLC showed that Ampatuan clan members had engaged in financial transactions amounting to more than P1 billion from 2000 to 2009 which can be considered illegitimate because they were covered by spurious documents.
AMLC said Andal Ampatuan Sr., the clan’s patriarch’s statement of assets and liabilities and net worth (SALN), did not include his real properties worth some P90.46 million.
Based on the AMLC report, the clan patriarch owns 27 houses in Shariff Aguak town in Maguindanao, Cotabato City and Davao City. He also has 91 vehicles with an estimated value of P111.23 million registered under his name, and his wife, Bai Laila.
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