Anti-money laundering amendment

PH faces dirty money blacklist


Senator Teofisto Guingona III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines is in danger of being lumped with countries that are known havens for dirty money after the Senate failed to pass a bill proposing to increase the number of predicate crimes covered by the Anti-Money Laundering Act (Amla), the bill’s sponsor, Senator Teofisto Guingona III, has warned.

The committee report on Senate Bill 3123, cosponsored by Guingona and Sen. Sergio Osmeña, remained in the interpellation stage on Wednesday, the last session day before Congress went on another two-week recess.

Nine senators have served notice that they intend to question Osmeña and Guingona concerning the amendments they are proposing to Republic Act 9160, or Amla.

Being included in the blacklist would mean restrictive regulations in international transactions involving the Philippines, including those of overseas Filipino workers and Philippine businesses.

“In two days, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will decide whether or not our efforts against the global fight against corruption and criminal money are enough,” Guingona said on the Senate floor on Wednesday night when it became apparent the bill wouldn’t pass.

“In two days we might fall into the blacklist, formally referred to as the list of Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories,” he said.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile downplayed the prospect of severe sanctions from the FATF, the Paris-based intergovernmental watchdog body against money laundering.

“Those are just threats,” he said, while also questioning the authority of the FATF to impose sanctions.

“Who gave them the idea that they can dictate on governments who invested them with that power?” he said.

“This is a part of a convention. This task force was organized by not all the members of the convention but only a few,” he said.

Enrile explained that some senators had reservations about the third amendment being proposed, which would increase the number of predicate crimes that should be covered by Amla. A predicate offense is a public crime that, as a matter of logic or statutory provision, is or must be a part of an offense.

“I respect the right of everyone to make a decision,” he told reporters.

Among those who reserved the right to ask questions were Senators Joker Arroyo, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Jinggoy Estrada, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Ralph Recto, Manuel Villar and Alan Peter Cayetano.

The FATF is meeting on Friday to decide whether the Philippines would remain in its grey list or fall into its black list.

The Philippines earned an upgrade a few months ago, moving up to the grey list from the dark grey list after Congress passed two of the three laws demanded by the FATF.

Guingona asked the senators to recognize the weaknesses of the country’s anti-money laundering law and exert serious effort to improve it.

He noted that 155 days have passed since the bill was sponsored and has been on the plenary’s agenda for already 20 days, “but it sadly still remains on the floor today.”

“We owe it to every citizen, who wants to see this government effectively win in the fight against corruption and dirty money. We cannot be remiss in that duty,” Guingona said.

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  • wazgoingon

    How will these amendments ever pass?  One cannot expect crooks in government to pass laws which will lead to their own hanging.  Just look at the anti dynasty bill and what has become of it. 

    • TMZPinoy

      That is very TRUE..These senators who are against the new amendments in anti money laundering law are scared they will be the victims because of their wealth are all came from dirty money.One bill they also doesn’t to pass is the Freedom of Information Act…Kaya yun “Daang Matuwid” ni Noynoy still s big JOKE.

      • bozzone


  • albayislands

    They don’t want to amend the law because most of these senators and law makers are hiding behind this law. Its the same as the foreign currency secrecy law, where they hide their stolen money. No wonder the Philippines is one of the most CORRUPT country in the world. A haven for  criminals like corrupt officials, politicians, drug dealers, smugglers and big time tax evaders like Lucio Tan…Enrile got it made since Marcos time, never got caught.     

    • suburbanmother

      Obviously they are protecting their own interests that’s why they have a hard time complying with it. Enrile even went as far as questioning the authority of FATF. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Mahirap talaga kapag may itinatago…

  • johndcross1

    “Among those who reserved the right to ask questions were Senators Joker Arroyo, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Jinggoy Estrada, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Ralph Recto, Manuel Villar and Alan Peter Cayetano. ”

    Your names above are noted.  We hope your questions will strengthen the amendments and not to diminish efficacy of the AMLA law.  We will be watching how you perform on this matter.

  • divictes

    Putting teeth to AMLA will chew most of them.

  • CheapJ

    Only those who are taking advantage of the current weaknesses of this law are not in favor of amending it.

  • agustin

    Amla is dirty money, some senators are cautious, this might boomerang on them.especially if the go against the dictator’s wishes. corruption in the Phil. will stay and can never be controlled unless we change our constitution.

    • disqusted0fu

       i agree one hundred percent! amendment of the constitution is long overdue… its about time to change the constitution, change the dictator then change the government system.

  • disqusted0fu

    now its Guingona’s turn to gain some popularity. these guys are making some noise now that elections are nearing. all of a sudden, everyone wants to do something ‘good’ for the country and the Filipino people.

    • AgapitoBagumbayan

      My friend, Sen. Guingona was among the first ones to expose the fertilizer scam. He made several privilege speeches exposing Arroyo back then, years ago, when the little girl was at the helm of power. He is consistent on his stand against corruption. Now, it may seem grandstanding to you, but atleast he is doing his job for the betterment of this nation. The least you can do is to shut up!

      Now.. what are those showbiz Senators, or the so-called ‘silent majority’ doing? Busy plagiarizing I supposed?

      • disqusted0fu

        My friend, if you read my comment properly, you would understand that my issue is about gaining exposure and popularity come election time and has nothing to do with whatever you are claiming. I’d only shut up once i stop seeing or hearing stupid decisions or stupid comments just like yours.

        Now speaking of showbiz, maybe the showbiz senators are just following the footsteps of our showbiz president.

      • AgapitoBagumbayan

        It’s quite obvious that you have a very hard stance against Pnoy and those people who were responsible to your lord’s misery. I have read your comment properly, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that you are insulting Sen. Guingona. Why? Was it because he initiated then the Senate’s inquiry on Fertilizer Scam directly involving the Mole? Is it because he is openly against Arroyo and all her corrupt doings? Please be educated enough to know that Sen. G doesn’t need to make noise and gain popularity as he is not a re-electionist.

        What is it then, about what Sen. G said on the above article, that you are against of? If there’s nothing then why post such lousy, uncalled comment?

      • disqusted0fu

        i am knocking on those politicians who use issues and/or other people as a platform to gain popularity since that seems to be the name of the game when it comes to politics. and yes, its hard to like someone who talks big but doesnt really do anything. you should know that. you probably experience it.

  • My mom

    I BELIEVE Sen. TG Guingona is sincere. He does all he does yet he’s not running for Senator in 2013. It’s the re-electionist senators who get the goosebumps every time Sen. TG opens his mouth.

  • niap kcen

    “Those are just threats,” he said, while also questioning the authority of the FATF to impose sanctions. 
    “Who gave them the idea that they can dictate on governments who invested them with that power?” enrile said.. ala-Tamblot.. i’m impressed with juan.. but why is it that you are so hard-pressed in dividing cam sur by that former woman elf-president, and you would not say ‘no’? 

  • Christian Cabahug

    does FATF have 50 shades of grey?

  • Homer Guo

    ang tanong: ginagawa  ba ng amlac ang trabaho para sure na gumagana ang batas na to? kahit anong amendment wala rin kung ang mga taong dapat mag-implement ay walang kwenta. kaya maraming nakakalusot….

  • blainz

    Getting graylisted by the FATF has the same effect on attracting foreign investors as getting travel advisories has on the tourism industry. Getting blacklisted is like getting travel bans.

    Enrile might curry favor with unthinking nationalists, but he’s doing the country harm if the measure doesn’t pass. Typical self-serving trapo.

  • wakeupbayan

    Any reason why opposed the draft bill Mr Enrile and other senators ? Dahil ba sa ayaw ninyong masabi na nasapawan kayo ng FATF ?  Pa charming na naman ang Pinas ! Kaya nalulusutan tayo ng mga criminals eh. Baka naman masyadong malaki ang space under the table !!!!  Hahahahahahahahah!!! Our anti money laundering money law needs revision, its weaknesses, needs to cover many loopholes.  Bear in mind criminals have lots and lots of  money and they can pay even the most expensive lawyers in the globe. So why and what is the problem holding you lawmakers to make it stricter.  What are you afraid off ?  Then sasabihin ninyo na i-approve ang on line libel sa cybercrime law ! Why ? Scared of anything ????

  • Benny mahuike

    Note the names of those opposed@twitter-366424068:disqus
     Why do Filipinos continue to re elect convicted or suspected corrupt officials? Certainly these officials are reflections of the values of the areas they represent…again we can see how the Church has failed miserable in 500 years to bring the society, in general, around to valuing honesty. Maybe it is because of all the institutions in the world, the Church is the most guilty of corruption…i think so anyway…the Gold Vatican Coins are made from the gold fillings of the Jews from WW2, that is a scientifically proven fact..there would have been no World War 2, or the Church private henchman, Adolf Hitler, a devote Catholic.Get rid of the Catholic Church and the Philippines makes strong strides in eliminating corruption in society. Change the views of society, and you change the people put into Public Office…they show their colors without embarrassment, as does the current Pope who acknowledges being a Nati durring least it is HONEST for a change…they can admit their intentions…but WAKE UP..the Catholic Church is headed by a NAZI…In Hawiii we ran the Cathlic Church out of the country 100 or more years ago…however…they still control the largest private Trust in the World..the Bishop Estate..which owns most of the State Lands of the Hawaiian Nation…taking claim to the country after the Bishop forced the Queen of Hawaii into marriage then murdered her…this it the Church, the REAL CHURCH..the MAFIA..that launders the Mafia money in its Vatican State Banking system…it also produces the support, as ordered by God as they would have it, to get behind the corrupt practices of the Philippines, as they have done all over the World…How alike they are to the belief of the Taliban who think that God asks them to murder anyone who disagrees with their ideals…the Catholic Church is no different…It must be ousted if the Philippines is ever going to get out from under the Poverty that the Church bring everywhere it goes.How many BILLION of Peso do they collect each year and use for their own purposes? Does anyone BELEIVE that GOD NEEDS MONEY?….why is it that too often the Catholic Priests are given winning tickets in the National Lottery, as proven in Inquiry News articles…they take them without shame or guilt, why? because they have no SHAME OR GUILT…that is MY OWN OPINION…Free yourselves from the OPRESSION of the CATHOLIC FAITH..and you will FREE the NATION of CORRUPTION AND POVERTY.

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