Gordon: Impossible for Duterte not to know ‘money laundering’ by Chinese
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard Gordon said Wednesday that it is impossible for President Rodrigo Duterte not to have known about the $447 million (P22.68 billion) that suspiciously entered the Philippines from September 2019 to February this year.
“Impossible naman na hindi niya alam ‘yan (It’s impossible that he did not know about that),” he told reporters when asked if he thinks Duterte knows about the questionable entry of such huge amount of money.
“The President is the repository of information in this country. He has the most information. He can judge,” he added.
In a privilege speech on Tuesday, Gordon claimed that the inaction of anti-money laundering authorities paved the way for Chinese and Filipino couriers to hand-carry more than $447 million –stashed in travel luggage – through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from September 2019 to February this year.
The senator noted that Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero had notified the Department of Finance, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the Bureau of Internal Revenue in September last year, “but up to now, these agencies have yet to act” on the report.
Based on the matrix shown by Gordon in his speech, the couriers declared that the money was to be used for business, travel, casinos, foreign exchange, or investment and that the cash came from either Hong Kong or Singapore.
He also speculated that much of the dollars that were questionably brought to the country could be being used for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).
He likewise blamed the “softness” of the Duterte administration’s foreign policy with China for the troubles surrounding the establishment of POGOs, which now supposedly includes money laundering.
“This would never happen if the administration was not too soft on China. ‘Yun ang isang rason kung bakit sila (POGOs) nandito (That’s one of the reasons why they are here),” he said.
“That’s why there is some tolerance. Natakot sila eh. Hindi nila alam kung may deal ba si boss dito. May deal ba ang Presidente dito? Pinagbibigyan niya itong mga ito? Nakakatakot ‘yan eh,” he added.
(That’s why there is some tolerance. They got afraid. They don’t know if the boss has some deal here. Does the President have some deal here? He’s been lenient on these people? That’s frightening.)
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