PH Faces Blacklist Over Money Laundering Act

The Philippine Senate has until the end of May to pass a bill amending the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) to avert a possible blacklist scenario that would exact a heavy toll on the country's overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Mindful of this deadline imposed by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III repeated his call for the immediate passage of the bill amending the AMLA, as well as the proposed measure against terrorist financing.

Whether the Upper House would be able to pass these bills before the end of May FATF-imposed deadline remains to be seen.

The Senate is having two separate undertakings - as a legislative body passing bills and acting on resolutions, among others, and as an impeachment court in the trial against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

It goes into a sine-die adjournment on June 8.

Guingona, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, asserted that "time may be running out on our bid to avert the negative consequences of a blacklisting by countries who are members of FATF."

The son of former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr. aired the call amid concerns from the financial, business and labor sectors about the possibility of the blacklisting by FATF member-countries.

Guingona doused speculations that the bid to amend the present AMLA was due solely to the prospect of an FATF blacklist.

"As a sovereign nation, no one can force us to do anything," he said.

"However, we have the obligation to ensure that our laws address the public interest and that these are strong enough to prevent our country from being used as a haven for money launderers and terrorists. When we signed international com¬mitments against money laundering and terrorism, we committed to establish the proper legal framework to support such commitments," he said.

Guingona warned that in the past, FATF member-countries have imposed closer scrutiny procedures for financial transactions coming from and going to blacklisted countries.

It included requiring more documents, longer transaction time, and even refusal to facilitate financial services to nationals of blacklisted countries.

"The first to feel this would be the OFW community," he warned.

He explained that the current law against money laundering has "severe shortcomings that need to be corrected."

"Stronger laws against money laundering and criminalizing terrorist financing are just logical steps that we must take in order to give life to our commitments. We can't just keep on signing these agreements and remain negligent in our duty to ensure that we have the laws to support the same," he said.

Guingona underscored that despite the Philippines' commitment to fight terrorism, "until today the country still has no law criminalizing terrorist financing."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • APEC trade chiefs vow to speed up work in WTO

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Trade ministers from 21 Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday issued strong support to the World Trade Organization's efforts to boost global trade amid a flurry of regional free trade agreements. …

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …

  • Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center
    Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center

    Philippine Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Elizabeth Buensuceso has called on participants of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) brainstorming session to vigorously work on promoting ASEAN-China relations under the principles of inclusivity, transparency and centrality. The brainstorming session, attended by the ACC’s joint council and joint executive board members, also involved a midterm review of ACC’s work since its establishment in 2011. The ACC aims to promote …

  • Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation
    Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation

    Distressed Filipino domestic helpers in Lebanon may find it more difficult to return home. The government of Lebanon has tightened the rules on repatriation of distressed household service workers (HSWs), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reported yesterday. Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Baldoz said the Lebanese government opted to re-impose a previous policy requiring investigation into every case of HSWs who ran away from their employers and sought …

  • Army execs face attrition over promotion quota
    Army execs face attrition over promotion quota

    Dozens of Philippine Army officials may be removed from the service due to a promotion quota system in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang. In a letter to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, he requested that the 30 percent promotion quota – which means that only 30 percent of those eligible for promotion in a given year will actually be promoted – in the Army be raised to 50 percent. Under the military’s attrition law, middle-grade officers …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options