Lacson bats for amendments to anti-money laundering laws
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday underscored the need to amend existing laws seeking to fight money laundering and other finance-related matters in the country.
Lacson made the remark following the alleged entry of dirty money into the country.
“The bringing of huge sums of money in and out of the country in past months with seeming impunity indicates the urgent need for action from our government, not just by the Executive but also by the Legislative,” Lacson said in a statement.
“Our authorities should keep up with, if not keep one step ahead of, criminals who are trying to do the same,” the senator added.
Lacson said that while there is a “need to address the corruption that is one big reason for authorities’ tolerating money laundering,” the legislative branch of the government shall also address the “gaps” in existing laws.
“There is also a need to take a long, hard look at gaps in our existing laws, including the Bank Secrecy Law and the Anti-Money Laundering Act,” the senator said.
But the amendments to the laws “should also make sure that they cannot be weaponized for political purposes”, Lacson said.
“Speaking from experience, I have been at the receiving end of such abuse of the law by the likes of Ador Mawanay, Mary ‘Rosebud’ Ong, Victor Corpus, and the Arroyos, who prompted me to waive my rights under the Bank Secrecy Law and challenged them to withdraw all the dollars they claimed I owed,” the senator said.
In a privilege speech on Tuesday, Senator Richard Gordon claimed Chinese and Filipino couriers were able to hand-carry more than $447 million into the country through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
According to Gordon, this happened from September 2019 to February this year.
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