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Gordon wants forex firm probed over possible Maute group funding

/ 11:07 PM March 05, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard Gordon on Thursday sought an investigation on a foreign exchange company over the firm’s possible provision of funding towards Islamic State-linked Maute Group.

In a Senate hearing, Gordon asked the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) regarding Excellent Forex Corporation, which was among the registered foreign exchange firms in the country.

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“I have information that they have a branch in Marawi and the reason why it caught my attention is that you know mayroong (there’s) foreign funding na pumasok doon sa (remitted to) Maute,” Gordon said.

“Maybe I’m just overly zealous and I’m ready to be corrected but I would suggest you find out,” the lawmaker added.

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To recall, the Maute group laid siege in Marawi in May 2017—a battle between militants and government forces that left 800 militants and 162 soldiers dead.

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said that among the officials of the foreign exchange firm is named Emil Alfonso.

Gordon said Alfonso was among those who brought large sums of money into the country.

“I have him as one of those bringing in and declared $2.5 million. He brought it in, physically, in cash. We’ll be chasing after this agency wondering why,” Gordon said.

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