German Embassy asks PH to review freezing of NGO's accounts

German Embassy asks PH to review freezing of accounts of a Leyte NGO

/ 10:59 AM June 16, 2024

The number of fatalities due to Severe Tropical Storm "Paeng" (International name: Nalgae) in Western Visayas rose to 20 while six people remained missing.

INCHING TO SAFETY Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) rescuers and residents use a broken refrigerator as a makeshift boat during a rescue operation following flooding due to Tropical Storm Paeng in Hilongos, Leyte. (File photo from the PCG / REUTERS)

TACLOBAN CITY — The German Embassy in Manila has called on the Philippine government to conduct a “quick review” on the freezing of the accounts of a non-government organization (NGO) that was linked to communists.

In a statement dated May 27, the German Embassy in Manila said the freezing of the accounts of the Leyte Center for Development (LCDe) has affected their campaign to help the poor in Eastern Visayas.


“The recent freezing of the accounts of the LCDe by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), including the private accounts of the founder of the NGO, Ms. Jazmin Jerusalem and her family, are detrimental to our efforts to improve the living conditions of the beneficiaries in poor and marginalized regions of Samar and Leyte,” it said.


“We expect a quick review of the freezing in order to allow the NGO to continue their work,” the statement added.

Jerusalem was grateful to the German embassy for its support.

“I am very thankful to the German Ambassador to the Philippines and his staff for trusting and supporting us, and acknowledging LCDe as partners in the effort to aid poor communities with livelihood in these difficult times,” she told the Inquirer on Friday, May 31.

Jerusalem hoped that the statement of the German embassy would convince the AMLC to unfreeze their accounts to enable them to continue their work in remote and depressed communities in the region.

The German Embassy is one of the funders of the LCDe, a NGO based in Palo, Leyte.

The group has been extending assistance to poor far-flung communities in Leyte and Samar provinces, especially during the onslaught of Super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) in 2013.


Last January 18, Ambassador Andreas Pfaffernoschke visited the town of Marabut, Samar to personally turn over a rice mill to a group of farmers in the town.

The embassy said Pfaffernoschke was happy to personally learn about the “positive impact” the rice mill they donated brought to the local farmers.

It described LCDe as a “reliable partner” in the implementation of project.

“Through its small-scale development projects with local partner organizations, the German Embassy aims to directly improve the quality of life of indigent and marginalized people on issues related to education, livelihood, women and children, agriculture, health and environment,” it said.

The AMLC earlier froze the accounts of the LCDe, citing “financing terrorism” as the reason.

According to Jerusalem, they learned about the freezing of their bank accounts when they went to a bank in Tacloban on May 2 to withdraw money to buy essential items.

For their organizational bank account, it contained more than P2 million which, Jerusalem said, were donations from their international donors like Japan, South Korea, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom and United States.

Jerusalem said the freezing of their accounts has paralyzed their operations.

The LCDe has been operating for 36 years.

The military has branded LCDe as a front of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) during the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte.

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Jerusalem denied links to the communist group.


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