MANILA, Philippines – Following the freeze order on his and his mother’s bank accounts issued by the Court of Appeals (CA), businessman Antonio Tiu accused the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) of misleading and lying to the appellate court to justify the inclusion of his assets in the freeze order.
Included in the freeze order were Tiu's bank accounts, as well as those of his companies: Greenergy Holdings Inc, Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corporation, and Earthright Holdings, Inc. He received a copy of the CA freeze order on Friday, May 15, he said.
“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 Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) would be independent from any political pressure or persuasion,” Tiu said in response to the issuance of a freeze order against him.
According to the businessman, the AMLC allowed itself to be used for political harassment, adding that the agency even included the bank accounts of his 60-year old mother for no other reason than to harass him.
“She is a private citizen who should have been spared by this,” he claimed, noting that no allegations were ever raised against her mother.
The businessman also denied allegations made by AMLC that he lacks the capability to justify his business dealings and financial assets.
“I have gone over the Freeze Order and it is clear that the freezing of my accounts as well as those of my companies is 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 (Subido Pagente Certeza Mendoza & Binay) 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,” Tiu said.
The businessman added that the AMLC “lied to the Court of Appeals and its authorized representatives perjured themselves.”
According to Tiu, the transactions AMLC accused as ‘unjustified’ actually involved what he called legitimate, fully documented, and publicly-disclosed transactions, when SPCMB acted as his counsel.
These included a sale of Greenergy's interest in a biomass power plant, worth around P400 million; the sale of marketable securities from Earthright to Greenergy, worth around P110 million; a transaction worth P170 million when Greenergy got additional marketable securities; and a receipt of around P300 million from Greenergy to Tiu, Earthright, and Sunchamp for unpaid subscriptions.
“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,” Tiu said.
The businessman further lamented how the AMLC are allegedly willing to “risk the lives of more than 5,000 hardworking employees, farmers, and supplies who are directly and indirectly reliant on my business for their livelihood.”