Vicente Ladlad’s wife, Fides said that his accounts are not from the money laundering or terrorism financing but resulted from Republic Act No. 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – The Anti-Money Laundering Council has frozen the bank deposits of political prisoner and peace consultant Vicente Ladlad, according to his wife Fides Lim.
The move came after the Anti-Terror Council declared Ladlad and 18 others in its list of “terrorists.” Once designated, the AMLC will start freezing their assets under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
Lim, also spokesperson of Kapatid, the support group of families and friends of political prisoners, said that Ladlad’s accounts are not from the money laundering or terrorism financing but resulted from Republic Act No. 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.
The money deposited in Ladlad’s account, she said, is “sourced solely and purely from government funds allotted by legislation for recognized victims of gross human rights violations perpetrated by the Marcos dictatorship during martial law.”
According to Lim, these bank accounts of contain the funds her husband received from the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB) in May 2018, as well as the compensation from Atty. Robert Swift in August 2019 from human rights class suits in reparation for Ladlad’s political imprisonment and torture during martial law, and for the abduction and enforced disappearance of his first wife Leticia Pascual Ladlad in November 1975.
Lim explained that Ladlad opened two Land Bank accounts in May 2018 because the HRVCB required approved eligible claimants to open a savings account to facilitate the deposit of the monetary compensation
“Any investigation would easily reveal the official origin of those deposits and why it is wrongful, in fact immoral and reprehensible, to subject them to any freeze order as this would only perpetuate the injustice and tragedy that those accounts seek to atone for and indemnify,” she said.
Through a letter, Lim appealed to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno, who is also the chairman of the AMLC, over what she called as unjust freezing of Ladlad’s bank accounts.
“I hope Prof. Diokno will have the fairness of mind to heed my appeal as he belongs to the same generation that experienced the brutal repression of martial law and he can’t ignore the sacrifices recognized by the very law that created this indemnification fund,” Lim said in a statement.
Lim laments that although the account was compromised and despite lawyers’ advice about asset freeze under the new ATA, Ladlad still decided to keep his accounts because “these were opened purposely to facilitate the payment of compensation to him as a victim of martial law and because, should anything happen to me, he would need to shoulder his medical needs and health care.”
Ladlad is now 72 years old and has ailments, said Lim.
She said Ladlad was diagnosed last in December last year with Asthma-Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Overlap Syndrome. With this, all the more that Ladlad needs his compensation funds as his health rapidly deteriorates under political imprisonment, Lim added.
Ladlad was arrested in November 2018 together with the elderly couple Alberto and Virginia Villamor, in Novaliches, Quezon City.
They were slapped with trumped-up charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.