Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor and Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) Chairman Rafael B. Buenaventura today said the amendments being considered by Congress will allow the Council to look into deposit or investment accounts with suspicious transactions regardless of amount, without any court order. This will give additional teeth to the AMLC in leading the country’s campaign against money laundering.
He added that BSP, in the process of its examination of banks and covered financial institutions and without any court order, should also be allowed to look into accounts for the sole purpose of ensuring and monitoring compliance with the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
Combined, these amendments will strengthen Philippine laws against money laundering, Buenaventura emphasized. He added that these amendments constitute a modification, not a repeal, of the bank secrecy laws of the Philippines.
He said the Financial Action Task Force ( FATF), the international organization of countries working against money laundering activities, has accepted that there is no need for an absolute repeal of the country’s bank secrecy laws. In its place, FATF is proposing modifications to the bank secrecy laws to ensure that AMLC becomes successful in preventing the laundering of dirty money and in prosecuting money launderers.