Palace exec hopeful for Senate recommendations towards improvement of PHL’s anti-money laundering law

By , on March 21, 2016

The Malacañang Palace (Facebook photo)
The Malacañang Palace (Facebook photo)

MANILA – A Palace official is hopeful that results of the Senate investigation on the crossborder laundering of US$ 81 million stolen from Bangladesh Bank (BB) last February will be used to further improve the Philippines’ anti-money laundering law.

In a briefing Monday, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said he believes that “the Senate has done its part and is doing its part in holding a hearing in aid of legislation.”

“We can all hope that in the remaining life of the current Congress that this would result in a report and recommendations that could then be the basis for action under the next Congress,” he said.

The Palace official also stressed that in the midst of the Senate investigation people should consider the importance of the discovery of the said illegal activity and that is “being vigorously looked into.”

“And I think it is also incumbent on all of us to follow the story and continue to study the ongoing revelations as it is investigated,” he added.

Last week, the Senate conducted two hearings on the issue, with an executive session done last Friday upon the request of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) Jupiter, Makati branch Manager Maia Deguito for her to openly tell the Senators all the information she knows about the laundering of the multimillion dollar funds.

Deguito and four others are now facing money laundering charges before the Department of Justice (DOJ) for their participation in the alleged money laundering case.

The others whom the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AML) named in the charges are Michael Francisco Cruz, Jessie Christopher Lagrosas, Alfred Santos Vergara, and Enrico Teodoro Vasquez.

AMLC Executive Director Julia Bacay-Abad, in last Thursday’s Senate hearing, said these five are the initial batch of individuals found to have clear participation in the money laundering case but more will be named in the future as investigation on the case continues.