AMLC disclosure of Binay assets violates law – legal expert
DISCLOSURE of the report of Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) on assets of Vice President Jejomar Binay, his wife Elenita, son Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay and their alleged dummies violated the law and could be basis for criminal prosecution of the source of the leaked report, a legal expert said.
“The provision on confidentiality applies to AMLC personnel or staff. If they are the source of the leaked report, they can be held liable,” Dean Pacifico Agabin, former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law, said in a phone interview Thursday.
He pointed out that it is important to keep AMLC reports confidential to prevent the parties involved from stashing away their assets away from government authorities.
If the source of the leaked report can be held liable, the media cannot, Agabin said.
“Freedom of the press is enshrined in the Constitution and it should prevail over the AMLC law,” he added.
Agabin’s view is echoed by Ateneo School of Government Dean Antonio La Viña.
In his Facebook account, he said the letter of the Binay camp to Philippine Daily Inquirer is “interesting.”
“If the Binay camp files a case and it is allowed to prosper, this will go to the Supreme Court and will be a leading case on freedom of the press,” he said.
He added that “public interest prevails here and freedom of the press against prior restraint will prevail.” AC
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