Binay associate decries freeze order on firms’ assets, says AMLC ‘lied to CA’
BUSINESSMAN Antonio L. Tiu scored the Anti-Money Laundering Council on Sunday for including in its freeze order request his companies’ bank accounts, saying these were all used in legitimate transactions.
“The AMLC lied to the Court of Appeals and its authorized representatives perjured themselves,” Tiu said in a statement.
Tiu said he received his copy of the freeze order dated May 11 that froze his accounts as well as those of his companies, namely Greenergy Holdings, Inc., Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp. and Earthright Holdings, Inc.
The freeze order also covered bank accounts of Vice President Jejomar Binay, several members of his family and alleged cronies.
Tiu said he was disappointed that politicians and the AMLC were willing to risk the future of more than 5,000 employees, farmers and suppliers who have been directly and indirectly reliant on his businesses for their livelihood.
“This cycle of politics being involved in business, and business being involved in politics depending on who is in power must be stopped if we want our country to move forward and attain its true potential,” he said.
Tiu said he had gone over the freeze order and found out that the freezing of his accounts as well as those of his companies was “predicated solely on the sweeping statement made by AMLC under oath that the multiple transactions involving receipt of inward remittances, inter-branch fund transfers among Greenergy, Earthright, Sunchamp and SPCMB Law Offices was without any underlying legal or trade obligation, purpose or economic justification and/or that it was allegedly not commensurate to the business or financial capacity of the individuals involved.”
He said that while rules on confidentiality and sub judice have barred him from publicly going into details of the ongoing proceedings with the appellate court, anybody can view the transactions involving his companies since these were duly disclosed with the Philippine Stock Exchange.
“A simple perusal of the disclosures of Greenergy lodged with the PSE (hence, already public and readily accessible) would already belie the claim of the AMLC as the alleged ‘unjustified transactions; actually involve the following transaction where SPCMB Law acted as my counsel,” Tiu said.
He said among the transactions that were legitimate and publicly disclosed included Greenergy’s sale of its interest in a biomass power plant for at least P400 million, Earthright’s sale of marketable securities to Greenergy for about P110 million, Greenergy’s acquisition of additional marketable securities in the amount of around P170 million, and Greenergy’s receipt of the unpaid subscription that was due from him, Earthright and Sunchamp for the total amount of more than P300 million.
“Clearly, AMLC acted in bad faith and deliberately concealed from the Court of Appeals the truth on the transactions that allegedly warranted my inclusion as well as those of my companies in the freeze order,” he said.
Tiu said he and his companies had been preparing for a “barrage of attacks” after he was “dragged” in the Senate hearings involving Binay.
“While I had already conceded that certain government agencies would relentlessly proceed with the attacks even if they have no basis both in fact and in law, I was hoping that the AMLC would be independent from any political pressure or persuasion. Regrettably, my trust in the AMLC was misplaced. Worse, I did not expect that the AMLC would recklessly cause the inclusion of all the bank accounts of my 70-year old mother in the freeze order just to further harass me,” he lamented. SFM/AC
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