Roque: Anti-money laundering law 'best way' to go after erring officials | Inquirer News
Ombudsman 'right' about stopping lifestyle checks

Roque: Anti-money laundering law ‘best way’ to go after erring officials

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 11:20 AM September 23, 2020

Ombudsman’s probe of PAO chief to cover anonymous lawyers’ plea

Samuel Martires

MANILA, Philippines — Ombudsman Samuel Martires was “right” about stopping lifestyle checks on government officials because it is “easy” to hide ill-gotten wealth anyway, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Wednesday.

“As a lawyer, mukhang tama po si Ombudsman kasi napakadali po magtago ng ill-gotten wealth,” Roque said in an interview over CNN Philippines.


(As a lawyer, the Ombudsman is right because it’s easy to hide ill-gotten wealth.)


“Siguro, may mga panahon na the corrupt ones would flaunt it. But times have changed ngayon they could live modest lives, they could use dummies for their bank deposits and can pretend they have modest lives even if they have billions and billions of ill-gotten wealth,” he added.

Although lifestyle checks can be effective to those who flaunt their assets, Roque said strengthening the country’s anti-money laundering law is the “best way” to go after erring officials.

“But we of course respect the decision of the Ombudsman. He is a Constitutional body and I think what he considers more important would be enforcement of the anti-money laundering law because that is really the best way to determine if one’s income as a government employee can justify his assets that are hidden,” Roque said.

Martires, during the budget hearing of the Ombudsman in the House of Representatives, disclosed stopping lifestyle checks on public officials because some provisions under the Republic Act 6713 were “vague” and “illogical.”

Under RA 6713, public officials shall lead modest lives and they should not indulge in an extravagant display of wealth.

It also prohibits officials from receiving gifts and engaging in transactions that have a conflict of interest.

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TAGS: Harry Roque, Ombudsman

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