AMLC snubs SC request for judge’s bank records
The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has snubbed the request of the Supreme Court to release account details of a judge publicly named by President Duterte last year as involved in illegal drugs.
A highly placed source said on Wednesday the council has not responded to a letter the court sent asking for assistance in the investigation against Baguio Regional Trial Court Branch 1 Judge Antonio Reyes.
AMLC is mandated to implement the provisions of Republic Act No. 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001. Its primary duty is to preserve the integrity and confidentiality of bank accounts and ensure that the Philippines shall not be used as a money laundering site for the proceeds of any illegal activity.
Last year, Duterte criticized the council for refusing to cooperate on the government’s investigation against those involved in the illegal drug trade.
“The secretary of justice now said you are hard to deal with. You better go to the secretary of justice or I will go to you,” Duterte has said.
After the President’s threat, the council provided the Department of Justice (DOJ) documents on the accounts believed to be used as a conduit in the narcotics trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). But Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the documents provided were incomplete.
The Supreme Court is investigating Judge Reyes following the recommendation of retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Roberto Abad, who was tasked to conduct a fact-finding investigation on the President’s allegations.
He already submitted a report clearing Judges Exequil Dagala of the Dapa-Socorro, Surigao Municipal Circuit Trial Court; Adriano Savilla of Iloilo City RTC; and Domingo Casiple of Kalibo, Aklan, RTC. The Philippine National Police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency have failed to submit evidence against the three.
In the case of Reyes, Abad said the drug enforcement agency submitted an affidavit showing that he had been receiving P50,000 in exchange for the dismissal of drug charges pending in his sala.
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