MANILA – A large sum of money – approximately P40 million large – has gone “MIA” or missing in action from the bank account of a company linked to pork barrel scam key player Janet Lim Napoles, according to the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC.)
On Wednesday, the court mandated the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) to submit the transaction records of the specific bank account in question.
The bank account is under the name of First Integrated Bonding and Insurance Company, one of the fraudulent companies connected to Napoles.
The account, which contained almost P47 million, was earlier frozen by the Court of Appeals. It was discovered, however, that money was recently withdrawn from it in the amount of no less than P40 million.
According to UCPB officials, the amount was withdrawn after the freeze order expired.
Bank officials, however, were unable to present before the court a certification from the Anti Money Laundering Council (AMLC); a requirement which must be secured before money from a frozen bank account can be touched or moved.
To prevent similar incidents, the AMLC filed a second batch of forfeiture cases at the Manila RTC, which Judge Marino dela Cruz immediately acted upon by issuing a provisional asset preservation order disallowing the movement of money from the bank accounts included in the AMLC petition.
Among the frozen accounts are those of former Benguet Rep. Samuel Dangwa, two bank accounts belonging to Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s chief of staff Atty. Gigi Reyes, and another account in the name of Pauline Labayen, Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s top aide.