Appeals court upholds own freeze order on Ampatuans’ bank accounts
MANILA, Philippines—The Court of Appeals denied the appeal filed by the Ampatuan clan asking a reversal of its resolution that extended the freeze order on its bank accounts and other assets up to six months, or Dec. 2, 2011.
In a five page order, the appeals court’s Special Second Division, through Associate Justice Celia Librea-Leagogo, maintained that there is probable cause to extend the freeze order it issued on June 6, 2011.
The appeals court did not buy the arguments raised by the Ampatuan clan that the properties and bank accounts came from personal and business income and inheritance.
“A careful perusal of the respondents’ various motions for reconsideration/partial reconsideration, as well as the petitioner’s comments thereto, shows that the grounds relied upon in the said motion are mere rehash of the matters put forward by the respondents in their previous pleadings which were already considered, passed upon, and found unmeritorious in the resolution dated July 5, 2011; and that the arguments raised therein are too unsubstantial to warrant a reconsideration thereof,” the resolution stated.
“We therefore, find no cogent or compelling reason to modify or reverse the said resolution,” the appeals court added.
The case stemmed after the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) filed a petition with the Court of Appeals identifying 28 members of the Ampatuan clan including patriarch Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr., former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Zaldy Ampatuan, Hadja Bai Laila Uy Ampatuan, former Mayor Datu Andal Uy Ampatuan Jr.,and Sajid Islam Uy Ampatuan.
Covered by the freeze order are the Ampatuans’ accounts in 32 banking, insurance and financial institutions, most of them located in several provinces in Mindanao.
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 Sr., the clan’s patriarch’s statement of assets and liabilities and net worth (SALN) did not include his real properties worth 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.
The court also temporarily stopped the financial transactions of Deal Gems and Jewelries Pawnshop and Maguindanao Electric Cooperative, which the Ampatuans reportedly owned.
Also covered by the freeze order are the assets under Deal Gems and Jewelries Pawnshop, Maguindanao Electric Cooperative, Banco de Oro, Unibank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, BPI FAmily Savings Bank, Development Bank of the Philippines, Coop Bank of Cotabato, EastWest Banking Corp. Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp. and one Network RB Inc., among others.
Other respondents covered by the freeze order are Osmena Medag Bandila, Delia Saqueton Sumail, Aladin Draper Sumail, Adham G. Patadon (Supply Officer V and Chief Administrative Officer V), Tahirodin Benzar A. Ampatuan, Anwar UyAmpatuan, Ameerah Ampatuan Mamalapat, Rebecca Uy Ampatuan-Ampatuan, Rebecca Padsod Ampatuan (daughter of Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr.), Redemberto Reyes Villanueva, Datu Lucas Ampatuan-Ampatuan, Alibai Sakal Ampatuan, Datu Ulo Upam Ampatuan, Soraida Biruar Ampatuan (married to Datu Saudi Uy Ampatuan), Bai Shaydee Uy Ampatuan(married to Datu Nashution Macapandeg), Bai Sandra Ampatuan, Baril Sandra S. Ampatuan, Michelle Sakal Ampatuan, Michael Ampatuan Sulaik and Bar Monadia Ampatuan Abdullah.
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