Court questions P40M withdrawal from frozen ‘pork’ account

By , on June 20, 2014

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MANILA — The United Coconut Planters Bank was ordered on Wednesday to explain why P40 million was withdrawn from an account that the Court of Appeals had ordered frozen.

The transaction was brought to court’s attention after a lawyer revealed that P40 million has been subracted from the P46.995 million contained in an account under the name of First Integrated Bonding and Insurance Co.

During the hearing on the civil forfeiture case, on Thursday, Lawyer Isar Pepito from the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) said the UCPB confirmed that the transaction was made.

“We asked the UCPB for details, but they could not provide us. So the judge required them to file a motion to enlighten the court on this transaction,” Pepito said.

The UCPB insisted that there was nothing wrong with the P40 million transaction saying that it was made after the CA’s freeze order had already expired.

Pepito, however, argued that any transaction made on frozen assets requires clearance from the Anti Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

UCPB failed to cite the date the transaction was made, and it also failed to present any certification  coming from the AMLC which allows them to make the transaction.

While proceedings are on going, the OSG filed a civil forfeiture case to allow the government to recover the money and assets involved in the pork barrel scam.