MANILA — The Court of Appeals (CA) has extended the freeze order it earlier issued against the bank accounts and properties of seven Chinese nationals suspected to be engaged in the manufacture of dangerous drugs in the country.
The freeze order was originally set for a period of only 20 days but the Appellate Court extended it for another six months after finding it very crucial.
In a four-page resolution, penned by CA Third Division Associate Justice Elihu Ybanez, the CA extended the freeze order against the assets of respondents Annie Faustino Co alias Annie F. Co/Ching Ching Co; Dave Go alias Jimmy Ong; Wang Wei Guo alias Wang Wei Go/Jason Santiago Chua/Michael Chua/Michael Jason Chua/Kalkal; Li You Xin alias Alex Sy Li/Wah Ya/Francis Lee; Jackson Sy Tan; Margarita Carpio; and Robert Asto.
The resolution was concurred in by Associate Justices Bienvenido Reyes and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.
The CA also directed the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to comply with the order against the motor vehicles and cars registered under the names of the said respondents.
"Wherefore, the subject freeze order is hereby extended? Moreover, respondent IBank and the LTO are hereby directed to submit to the CA and the AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) within a period of 24 hours from receipt of this resolution a detailed return on their compliance therewith, specifying all pertinent and relevant information on all frozen bank accounts and motor vehicles, it appearing that, to date, they have not submitted the same," the CA said.
"Let a copy of this resolution be served on LTO Chairperson Virginia Torres for appropriate action," the CA said.
Covered by the order are the accounts of the respondents under their names in Banco de Oro Unibank; Allied Bank; China Bank; East West Bank; Metrobank; Union Bank; International Exchange Bank; Security Bank; Commercial Banking Corp.; Bank of Commerce and Rizal Banking Corp.
Among the respondents in the petition filed by the AMLC through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) are the Crytalline Trading and the LTO.
Records of the case showed that on Aug. 24, 2010, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) served search warrant at Unit 1B Clarinda Raymond St., BF Resort Village, Las Pinas City due to suspected manufacturing of illegal drugs which resulted to the arrest of the suspects and seizure of huge quantity of shabu.
Last Jan. 31, operatives of the Philippine National Police-Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force Group (PNP-RAIDSOTG) conducted a buy-bust operation that resulted in the arrest of Ong and Go and the seizure of numerous cars and items.
The AMLC said that there were links between the said respondents, Crystalline Trading and CRS Foreign Exchange which were used as conduits in order to give a semblance of legitimacy to the proceeds of manufacturing and trafficking dangerous drugs.
"Considering that the financial examination and analysis of the subject bank accounts as well as the investigation regarding the subject motor vehicles may not be completed within the original period of twenty (20) days already granted by this court, there is a need for a continued freezing of the subject bank accounts and motor vehicles to prevent any further withdrawal, removal, transfer, concealment or disposition thereof," the CA said. (PNA)