Press Release
May 7, 2012


Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III has reiterated his call for the immediate passage of the bill amending the Anti-Money Laundering Act, including the proposed measure against terrorist financing, to avert a possible blacklist scenario that will exact heavy toll on the country's overseas workforce.

Sen. Guingona asserted that "time may be running out on our bid to avert the negative consequences of a blacklisting by countries who are members of the Financial Action Task Force."

The good governance advocate aired the call amid concerns from the financial, business and labor sectors about the possibility of the blacklisting by FATF member-countries. Moreover, Sen. Guingona doused speculations that the bid to amend the present Anti-Money Laundering law was due solely to the prospect of an FATF blacklist. He explained that "as a sovereign nation, no one can force us to do anything."

"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 commitments against money laundering and terrorism, we committed to establish the proper legal framework to support such commitments," he said.

The senator warned that in the past, FATF members-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," Sen. Guingona 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," Sen. Guingona said.

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

News Latest News Feed