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Palace hopes anti-money laundering law will avert blacklisting



President Benigno Aquino FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines hopes to avoid being put on a blacklist of money-laundering havens after President Benigno Aquino signed a new law boosting safeguards against such crimes, his spokeswoman said Saturday.

The law brings the country up to international standards as required by the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force which threatened to blacklist it, spokeswoman Abigail Valte said.

“We’re very hopeful that, with the passage of this particular law, the FATF will see we are really serious in our commitment to fight money-laundering,” she told reporters.

Officials of the Philippine anti-money laundering council will leave soon for an FATF meeting in Paris to show that Manila was complying with their conditions, she said.

The law is aimed at preventing terrorists, corrupt officials, drug syndicates and human-traffickers from using the country as a hiding place for their ill-gotten gains, Valte said.

As demanded by the FATF, it broadens the definition of crimes covered and expands the businesses to be monitored for money-laundering beyond mere financial institutions such as banks.

The FATF had previously placed the Philippines on its “dark grey list” of jurisdictions deemed not to be making sufficient progress in fighting money-laundering and threatened to blacklist it in early 2012.

It called for greater state powers to make it easier to scrutinise bank accounts, as well as casinos, foreign exchange traders and other non-bank entities.

While the Philippines previously passed two crucial anti-money laundering laws in June, it only passed the third law sought by the task force this month.

The new law, signed by Aquino late Friday, also still spares casinos from coverage for fear this would scare off investors, lawmakers said.

The Philippines recently opened Entertainment City, an $4 billion Manila casino complex aimed at rivalling Macau, Las Vegas and Singapore as a gaming hub.

Asked if omitting casinos might have a negative effect, Valte said “we will make an evaluation first and then we’ll move forward from there”.

An FATF blacklist would make it difficult for millions of Filipinos working abroad to remit their earnings and also affect Filipinos seeking to invest overseas.


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Tags: Blacklist , Crime , Laws , Money Laundering , Philippines


  • Guest

    This article fails to mention that the special request to exempt Casinos and online gambling came from none other than Pagcor Chief Bong Naguiat. The very same Bong Naguiat who was at the receiving end of the lobby funds of casino mogul Okada right about the time PNoy assumed office. The $30 million lobby fund from just one of the casino moguls is clearly working its magic on Naguiat, the congress, the senate and the executive. Of course, the special request of Bong Naguiat would not suffice unless it was also seconded by the sitting president in the palace. Hence, the smooth-sailing passage of the AMLA amendments while completely exempting casinos and online gambling. The big gaping loophole defeats the very purpose of amending the AMLA.

    To understand the spell Naguiat has on PNoy, one only needs to recall that Bong Naguiat generously sold a “brand-new second-hand” yellow fast car to PNoy at fire sale price. In return, PNoy had to turn a blind eye when Naguiat and his family accepted bribe in Macau in the form of lavish perks, signature bag and pocket money. Moreover, Naguiat was caught on tape late last year 2012 misusing Pagcor cars and other resources. For all his sins, Naguiat remains PNoy’s most favorite Pagcor Chief. With casino lobby fund dangled in front of legislators and the executive, they are more than happy to back down from going after casinos and online gambling.

    How money makes the world go round and round and round.

    _____________________________________________

    Reference:

    01. Pagcor Chair Bong Naguiat requests Guingona to exempt Casinos & online gambling.
    ==> rappler,com/nation/21209-ph-casinos-exempt-from-tougher-anti-money-laundering-law

    02. youtube video of Sen. Guingona & Cong. Apostol’s excuse for excusing Casinos
    ==> youtube,com/watch?v=uQiAKSJpuFk

    03. youtube video of DZMM discussing the futility of AMLA without including Casinos
    ==> youtube,com/watch?v=teIZLdo9HPo

    04. youtube video of Pagcor Chief Bong Naguiat misusing Pagcor cars & other resources
    ==> youtube,com/watch?v=uQpPP_VxnrQ

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AND7MQ5FERICDOIAUW56RYT45A tower_of_power

    Mukhang totoo nga ang naririnig kung hakahaka na sa casino nilulustay ng mga kabi9t ang ninakaw na kaperahan ng mga generals, politicos etc … kaya naman pala hindi isinama …. ang mga malalakas nga naman … hahahahaha!!!  As usual … yung mga law abiding OFWs ang maapektuhan sa pahirapan ng pagpadala ng pera sa bansa 

  • JasonBieber

    So PNoy only acted now to not be blacklisted. Why did it have to get to this point? Couldn’t he have acted sooner?

    Sometimes the government moves so slow especially in terms of helping the less fortunate Filipinos. But when it is bickering within the government or engaging in politically motivated agendas like impeaching a CJ then they move fast.

  • disqusted0fu

    Avoiding to be put on the blacklist is the sole purpose of Pnoy passing this law. Again the Aquino administration appears to be more concerned with image than advancement. We know that the administration will be noynoying in implementing this law anyway, unless of course they will use it for the persecution of their foes, that’s the only time that they are at their best.



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