The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) through the Office of the Solicitor General asked yesterday the Court of Appeals (CA) to dismiss the petitions to lift the 20-day freeze order.
The petitions were filed by Cotabato City Rep. Bai Sandra Sinsuat Ampatuan Sema, Bai Monadja Ampatuan Abdullah, Soraida Biruar Ampatuan, the Ampatuan-owned Maguindanao Electric Cooperative (Magelco), and a certain Dr. Tahir Sulaik.
Sema asked the CA to spare her from the freeze order, claiming she is not related to Andal Ampatuan Sr.
However, the AMLC said Sinsuat’s motion would not justify the lifting of the freeze order against her bank accounts.
Sema did not indicate that she served as education undersecretary before becoming a lawmaker in 2010, the AMLC added.
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Documents, including the Annual Audit Report on ARMM [Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao], showed large amounts of unliquidated funds on the part of the DepEd-ARMM, the AMLC said.
Abdullah claimed that her money in the bank came from dry goods and wedding gowns businesses in Maguindanao and Cotabato City.
However, the AMLC found out through confidential information that “she was associated with Delia Saqueton Sumail and Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr.”
“Nevertheless, she cannot justify the source of P4.067 million which she deposited in a BDO account in February 2009 and withdrawn on the same date and was transferred to a different account number, ” the AMLC said.
MAGELCO said it did not receive any investments from any private person or public officer because it is a non-stock, non-profit, non-partisan entity.
However, the AMLC questioned why MAGELCO had six bank accounts with transactions amounting to P500, 000, P15 million, and P30 million.
“It is highly inconceivable that a non-profit, non-stock, non-partisan entity and a cooperative supervised by the NEA [National
Electrification Administration] would transact money in an amount as high as P30 million in a single deposit transaction, ” the AMLC said.
“The transactions of MAGELCO are clearly not commensurate with its purported actual income, ” said the council.
The AMLC also sought to block the petition of Sulaik, who said he was mistaken for a certain Michael Ampatuan Sulaik.
However, the AMLC said Sulaik was a Department of Health employee in the ARMM before Rizaldy Ampatuan was suspended as ARMM governor after the Maguindanao massacre.
“A Commission on Audit report for ARMM in 2008 show that DOH-ARMM had an outstanding P380, 000 unliquidated travel expenses, ” AMLC said.
Soraida Biruar Ampatuan, widow of mayor Datu Saudi Ampatuan Sr., said her money was only sourced from the benefits she received after her husband’s death.
However, the AMLC said she was DSWD-ARMM secretary during the term of Zaldy Ampatuan as ARMM governor.
“Based on the COA annual audit report for the ARMM in 2008, the DSWD had unliquidated travel expenses of more than P819, 000. Records show that she has four bank accounts, two of which are active, withdrawals amounting to P9 million and deposits amounting to P11 million are deemed suspicious, ” the AMLC said
Widow’s testimony doubted
A widow of a Maguindanao massacre victim’s intention to testify in court has been placed in doubt.
A defense lawyer insinuated some people are behind her appearance in court after cross-examining her yesterday.
However, the prosecution hit the defense’s line of questioning as insensitive.
Lawyer Paris Real’s line of questioning centered on the financial capability of Gloria Teodoro, 41, to fly to Manila from her home in Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat province.
Real repeatedly asked Teodoro, wife of Andres Teodoro of Central Mindanao Inquirer, if she could peg how much she’s earning monthly, despite the widow’s insistence that she could not provide an estimate.
“My earnings vary on the payment my clients would give me so it’s very difficult to provide an estimate, ” said Teodoro.
She has been working as a masseuse in her neighborhood since her husband was killed almost two years ago.
Teodoro later relented and answered that she is receiving less than P5, 000 monthly.
The lawyer demanded to know who supports her whenever she flies to Manila and how much was her allowance, prompting the prosecution to ask the relevance of his questions.
“It could be your honor that there are some people who are helping her not just financially but also in her choosing to come here because her coming over is not pursuant to a subpoena, ” Real said addressing presiding Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Quezon City Court Branch 221.
The prosecution argued that Teodoro does not need to be persuaded to come to the trial in Metro Manila.
“She is a family (member) of the victim, ” the prosecution said. The prosecution said Real’s questions are “irrelevant, ” to which Solis-Reyes agreed.
Prosecutor Peter Medalle said it was just insensitive to insinuate that Teodoro’s presence in court was “motivated not by the legitimate grief she is experiencing.” – With Aie Balagtas See