|MANILA, Philippines - The Anti-Money Laundering Council(AMLC), through the Office of the Solicitor General(OSG) filed its consolidated comment with the Court of Appeals(CA) blocking motions of Rep. Bai Sandra Sensuat Ampatuan Sema, Soraida Biruar-Ampatuan and Bai Monadja Ampatuan Abdullah for the immediate lifting of a freeze order on their bank accounts and assets.|
The accounts and assets of Sema, Biruar-Ampatuan and Abdullah were ordered frozen by the appellate court last June 6 on a petition by AMLC, along with that of members of the Ampatuan clan charged for the brutal November 23, 2009 massacre of 57 people, mostly journalists, in Maguindanao. The accounts and assets of 28 individuals were covered by the freeze order, including former Maguindanao Gov. Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr., his wife Hadja Bai Laila Uy Ampatuan, former Mayor Datu Andal Uy Ampatuan Jr., suspended Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao(ARMM) Governor Zaldy Ampatuan, Zaldy Uy Ampatuan, and Sajid Islam Uy Ampatuan.
In its 17-page consolidated comment, the OSG said nothing would justify the lifting of the freeze order against Sema since her 30 bank accounts bore numerous transactions that warrant a perusal by AMLC. This, even as Sema claims she is not related to the powerful Ampatuan political clan. The OSG pointed out that Sema was an undersecretary of the Department of Education(DepEd)-ARMM in 2003 until her election as congresswoman in 2010. Documents initially gathered by the AMLC, including the Annual Audit Report on the ARMM, showed large amounts of unliquidated funds on the part of the DepEd-ARMM, the OSG said.
The OSG will file an urgent application for the immediate issuance of an order allowing the AMLC to inquire into the subject bank deposits in order to confirm the council's initial findings.
On Abdullah's motion, the OSG said she was associated with Ampatuan patriarch Andal, Sr., and, despite her being a casual employee, was able to deposit more than P4-million in a bank account she earlier claimed was not hers but later owned up to.
Biruar-Ampatuan, in her motion, claimed that as the heir of the late Mayor Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Sr., son of Andal, Sr., she inherited properties from her late husband which justifies her properties and acquisitions. But the OSG said she was former Department of Social Welfare and Development(DSWD) secretary for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao(ARMM) during the term of suspended Governor Zaldy Ampatuan with bank deposits amounting to a "suspicious" P11.83-million and withdrawals amounting to P9.24-million which is reason for the freezing of her accounts.
"In essence, all movants' statements in the present case are just bare claims and allegations which fail to show cause why the freeze order should be lifted," the OSG said.