Press Release
October 17, 2012

Manifestation of Senator TG Guingona on SBN 3123

Mr. President, in two days, the Financial Action Task Force will decide whether or not our efforts against the global fight against corruption and criminal money are enough. In two days, we might fall into the black list: formally referred to as the list of Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs).

In the past, we were placed in the dark grey list because of serious shortcomings in our anti-money laundering laws: a fact seriously recognized by the international community, by our Anti-Money Laundering Council, and by this representation.

I rise today in fear that in two days, the Philippines will fall into the black list of the FATF and that its member-organizations will begin imposing sanctions against our country. Being on the FATF blacklist has several possible results:

First, we send a strong message to the international community that our commitment against criminal money is not supported by strong will to establish the correct policies and laws against those who steal from the government, those who profit from the destruction of the earth, from those who rob individuals and corporations alike.

Second, any country now has the right to impose sanctions in the form of stringent requirements, and engage in closer, if not restrictive, scrutiny for financial transactions from or to the Philippines.

Third, transactions with Filipino individuals and corporations might be examined more closely precisely because of the suspicion that these could be with laundered money.

I rise in hope that we can recognize the weaknesses of our current anti-money laundering law and exert serious effort to improve it. We are running against time. SBN 3123 was sponsored on May 16, 2012. 155 days have passed since this bill was sponsored and it has been on the agenda for 20 days, but it sadly still remains on the floor today. I hope that we can strengthen our efforts to improve this bill and pass it at the soonest possible time. I rise in hope that in two days, we will not fall into the FATF blacklist.

We owe it to every Filipino citizen who wants to see this government effectively win in the fight against corruption and dirty money. We cannot be remiss in that duty. Not now.

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