Press Release
February 5, 2013


THE noose has just been tightened around the necks of criminals stashing dirty and corrupt funds and properties in the Philippines.

In a unanimous 15-0 vote, the Philippine Senate has approved SBN 3123 or the amended Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) that Senator Sergio R. Osmena III and I have introduced. Through this important piece of legislation, we abide by international standards established by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a leading inter-governmental body, in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

I thank my fellow Senators for approving SBN 3123, after extensive debates. With the recent improvement in our financial standing, it is extremely important for the Philippine economy to be bolstered by legitimate funds in our financial institutions.

Let this be a warning to kidnappers, drug lords, smugglers, hijackers, corrupt public officials, gambling lords, counterfeiters, terrorist financiers, carnappers, bribers, human traffickers, plunderers of Philippine wildlife, patrimony, and environment, gunrunners and illegal makers of firearms, ammunitions, and explosives, defrauders, pirates, thieves, swindlers, and buyers of stolen goods.

You who take advantage of the country's legal framework as nesting ground for unlawful activity, your days of crime are numbered. Aside from forfeiting dirty money, the AMLA, as amended, ensures life-changing prison sentences and crippling fines for money launderers.

The amended AMLA requires not only banks but all establishments covered, supervised, and controlled by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Insurance Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to promptly report to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) transactions suspected of money laundering. Forfeiture and legal processes are set into motion as soon as the AMLC is convinced that transacted funds are linked to unlawful activity.

By the afternoon of today, a bicameral session will be held to reconcile the Senate version of the amended AMLA with that of the Lower House. I do not see any impediments to the quick approval of this vital piece of legislation all the way to Malacanang.

News Latest News Feed