AMLC was the Yellow Regime’s deadly political weapon



    The holiday season may have given it a respite, but I don’t think President Duterte will just forget his tirade on December 22 against the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC): “You are all, you are all corrupt and serving [a]master. You are not supposed to engage in politics, God damn it,” the President said.

    Duterte was angry over the AMLC’s foot-dragging in helping the Justice Department track down the moneys of the illegal drug lords. I have been angry that the AMLC had been one of the deadly weapons of the past Yellow Regime, yet its members and staff had not even been investigated for debasing this institution, and using it to get at the Liberal Party’s enemies when it was in power. How can we have a government under the rule of law when we allow those who violated the laws on the AMLC to go unpunished, not even investigated?

    Indeed, the AMLC should heed Duterte’s call for them to resign, as the body can’t boast of stellar successes in tracking down and confiscating the ill-gotten wealth of global and local drug lords, terrorists, and jueteng lords. Rather it’s become infamous for three and only three things:

    (1) Its collaboration with President Aquino’s forces in 2012 to remove former Chief Justice Renato Corona from his post by leaking his alleged peso and dollar bank accounts to that Yellow regime’s agents, who used it as a deadly black propaganda against the CJ.

    (2) Its collaboration again with Aquino in the demolition job against presidential candidate Jejomar Binay during the campaign for the May 2016 elections, with a reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer having in her possession and publishing in that newspaper a confidential — but grossly inaccurate — AMLC report.

    (3) Its failure to detect and stop the transfer of $81 million in stolen money from the Bangladesh central bank in New York to a Philippine bank, and to the hackers’ accomplices here.
    amlc20170102First, when all of the impeachment charges against Chief Justice Corona were being debunked, proven more and more baseless each day, AMLC entered the fray and helped Aquino. The amounts in the bank accounts of Corona and his wife were leaked to a newspaper columnist and in a blog, and to Liberal Party stalwart Jorge Banal, who hilariously claimed he found it inserted at his residence’s gate. An Aquino fanatic, the Ateneo School of Government’s Harvey Keh tried to make Corona’s bank accounts part of the trial’s records by delivering data on these – to Enrile’s office. The former Martial Law Administrator proved to have a better moral compass than Keh by refusing to even open the envelope containing it.

    Would lowly bank managers in Corona’s account have dared to risk their careers to leak such information, whose secrecy is protected by law? Certainly not. Only somebody in the AMLC could have done that, upon orders of the Yellow Regime.

    Morales asks Aquino
    When those “leak” tactics didn’t work, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales asked the AMLC Executive Director Vicente Aquino to provide her with data on Corona’s dollar accounts. Aquino obeyed her without question, even if there is a specific law categorically banning these from being disclosed for any purpose, except upon written approval by the holder of the bank account and upon a court order.

    We don’t even know if Aquino asked, as he is required to, the three members of the AMLC for authority to do so. When I tried to get in touch at that time with the AMLC’s chairman, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco — a friend since college —to ask why he had allowed such wanton violation of the law, I was told that he was out of town, and that a deputy BSP governor represented him in the AMLC.

    Worse, as I have written several times, Morales distorted the AMLC’s data in such a way that she added up all transactions – i.e., a $100 deposit and a $100 withdrawal was counted as Corona’s having a $200 balance. She then screamed to the world that the Chief Justice was hiding $10 million in his secret dollar accounts (the reality was that it was less than $1 million.)

    It was a black-propaganda stunt performed before national-television cameras, intended to raise such a furor that a lynch mob was unstoppable, and consequently the Senate – except for three with integrity and wisdom – voted to kick the Chief Justice out of the Court, the first time ever this occurred in our history. Why did Aquino want Corona out? Because he thought he could bludgeon the Supreme Court to reverse its decision, made when Corona was chief justice, that required the Aquino clan’s Hacienda Luisita to comply with the agrarian reform law, instead of skirting it.

    Did the AMLC undertake an investigation into such serious breach of bank confidentially? Did the AMLC bother to correct Morales’ distortion of the report given her? It didn’t, which bolsters my view that from the start, the AMLC was part of the conspiracy to attack the Supreme Court.

    Second, the Philippine Daily Inquirer last year used as banner stories the articles by a Nancy Carvajal, who based her reportage on a single document she referred to as the “AMLC report” to allege that vice presidential candidate Binay had “billions” of pesos in his bank accounts and used several people as dummies. That it was a hatchet job was obvious in that Carvajal merely repeated the same article she wrote the previous year, she herself admitting that she was citing the same document. However, the AMLC reported later to the Court that after its investigations, it found only P1.7 million in Binay’s account, indicating that Carvajal’s “AMLC report” was a raw, initial report.

    That was so outrageous. The AMLC’s reports on individual bank holdings are probably the most secret kind of documents in the country since these are the only such documents that a law (the Anti-Money Laundering Law of 2001, as amended) severely penalizes a person for disclosing such information. In fact, the law even specifically lists who would be made responsible for “malicious reporting… relative to money laundering:”

    Breach of confidentiality
    “In the case of a breach of confidentiality that is published or reported by media, the responsible reporter, writer, president, publisher, manager and editor-in-chief shall be liable under this Act. (Sec. 9d).” Prescribed penalties include imprisonment from six months to four years. In fact, not even those who are the subject of AMLC investigations are given copies of its reports.

    And what does the AMLC do with such blatant use of AMLC data, which really could have been tampered with as nobody else except the Inquirer reporter (apart from the Court) had access to?

    It didn’t even warn the Inquirer that its article citing an AMLC report is illegal. It didn’t even investigate why a very raw AMLC report, probably drafted by a clerk, was in the possession of that reporter.

    Worse, the AMLC revealed its political partisanship when it issued a press statement that didn’t say it was going to investigate the breach in confidentiality but instead taunted Binay, by saying “The AMLC will continue to discharge its legal mandate without fear or favor.”

    And third, the AMLC has been embarrassingly caught napping as $81 million in stolen money from the Bangladesh central bank entered the country, put in dormant accounts, and withdrawn to equally dubious accounts.

    Do you know, dear reader, that the AMLC’s is authorized to investigate a transaction amounting to just P500,000, with its computer systems designed to alert its staff to such amount of transactions? Yet $81 million entered a single bank—in a single branch, in a single day—equivalent to P4 billion, deposited to dormant accounts, and then withdrawn, yet the AMLC didn’t notice it. I don’t think even P1 billion had ever entered a bank’s branch. Yes, ever.

    It had to take a person-to-person call from the Bangladesh Bank governor to BSP Gov. Tetangco, the AMLC chairman, to alert him that such a huge stolen amount was entering the Philippine banking system.

    Yet the AMLC started to work on the Bangladesh Bank governor’s alert on Feb. 3, according to its executive director, Julia Abad in her testimony in the Senate. It issued the freeze order a week later on Feb. 11. The criminals obviously had the time to withdraw the proceeds, and these have vanished into thin air.

    Tetangco made an astounding excuse why the AMLC had been inept in stopping the $81 million from vanishing.

    Tetangco says that our bank secrecy laws are too strict. “Once money enters a deposit account, you can’t see it anymore,” he said in a TV interview. Too strict? Then how could a columnist, a congressman, the Ombudsman get the bank balances and even details of the transactions of the Chief Justice? How could one reporter have an AMLC confidential report making allegations about the Vice President’s bank accounts?

    Tetangco may have been an excellent central bank governor, but he thinks it is beyond him since he is the Philippine version of Alan Greenspan, to run what is really an anti-crime unit which the AMLC is, so that he has delegated almost all the work there to subordinates who may not have the moral fiber that he has. If he can’t supervise the AMLC, and the law requires him to chair it, he should accept the reality and resign as BSP governor, and let somebody who can really supervise that crucial anti-crime agency, one who would insulate it from politics.

    Or maybe the law should be amended so that the council is led full-time by somebody who would be on the same rank as the three incumbent members of the AMLC, the heads of the BSP, the SEC and the Insurance Commission. How could such sensitive post as the AMLC chairman be a part-time job? The likelihood is for him to delegate all of his work eventually to unqualified people, or worse, unscrupulous or partisan officials.

    E-mail: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
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    1. A pathetic bunch of leather faced P-noy puppets are occupying that tainted office. Not tolong ago, these very same people are very activelly involved in the vicious demolition jobs of those identified with the yellows, even voluntarily providing documents to them .I suspect that thesepeople are are now preoccupied with cleaning up any trace of evidence that could implicate their friends. That explains their stubornness to cooperate till noa. Soon they will open their records for scrutiny, in their time. For so long, these yellows have been treating others like dumbs and idiots that they can play and fool with all the time.

    2. What a brilliant and comprehensive article, i am an ordinary citizen but i can fully understand the gravity of what this people from AMLAC did to our banking system including Tetangco. Death penalty is more applicable to these peaple. Isa kayo sa mga salot sa lipunan, kayong taga CB tanungin nyo ang inyong sarili kung isa kayo sa mga ito. Mabuhay ka Mr. Tiglao, isa kang tunay na manunulat.

    3. Thank you Mr. Tiglao. I wish the Philippines have a system like Australia where in the Australian Taxation Office have access to your bank accounts and very transparent.

    4. AMLC is a depository of every influence, they are appointed leaders of sinister people not greed for money but for power. Mystery is power. Whoever wants to uncover its truth, simply vanished like CJ Corona. Sen Enrile vanished into jail but his aged got his own freedom. He is lucky. AMLC, you are the black hole in our country.

    5. In the Bank of Thailand, there was a 3,500 tons of gold with 99.999 purity that was deposited there. The people who signed the document dated December 22, 2014 were:
      Leila De Lima – Secretary of the Department of Justice
      Mar Roxas – Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government
      Amando M. Tetangco Jr. – Governor of the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas
      Franklin Drilon – Senate President
      Cesar Purisima – Secretary of the Department of Finance

    6. So that’s what Aquino and his alliances did…
      Wow! what a great article, instead of going against drug lords they went after political opponents…. #$””/*”!!!

    7. If drug lords, peddlers, and users are summarily shot why not do the same on all AMLC’s personnel starting from top to bottom, and instead of nanlaban scenario eh accident scenario naman para maiba. Salot sa lipunan itong mga AMLC na nagpagamit kay P(ab)noy Aquino. PDU30 palagay ko dapat tuluyan mo na yang mga AMLC’s tama nang dakdak upakan mo na.

    8. Allan P.-E. Tolentino on

      I recommend Paul L. Williams’ book, OPERATION GLADIO, for Bobi Tiglao’s additional information. Williams unfailingly documents the criminal partnership of the CIA, Catholic Church, and Sicilian Mafia in opium/heroin production and trade, drug money laundering, and subversion/overthrow of governments not to the criminals’ liking. The narcotics operation mastermind since WWII is the OSS/CIA, opium/heroin manufacturer/traffickers are the Sicilian Mafia and/or Central Asia, Latin American drug lords. The Catholic Church’s Vatican Bank serves as the quintessential money launderer as it is untouchable by AMLC. Big US banks especially in tax havens like the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Panama, etc. also serve as money launderers.

      The deal between the US DEA and the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel has been exposed some time ago. Sinaloa has been reported operating in the Philippines. If Duterte’s government takes over the AMLC, would it dare take on the CIA, Catholic Church, and the international drug cartels? Does it have a choice short of betraying the Filipino people?

    9. Leodegardo Pruna on

      I hope that the CB Governor Tetangco, out of delicadeza and tenure in office, would not accept any extension as he has already served to terms mandated by law. I think that he should listen to Amb. Tiglao admonition and advice if he has self respect and honor left. We should pray for PDu30 to do the right thing in a far as extending Tetangco’s term is concern. God save the Philippines.

    10. So, it would be a futile or foolish to question or to ask why is the ombudsman not investigating the AMLC?
      And the suggestion to have the law amended so that a full time professional AMLA/AMLC chairman becomes necessary.

    11. The Aquino’s and most of the LP member’s violate this commandment.

      “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” 9th Commandment

      Karma has it natural way of catching up. Now it is happening.

    12. Loida Barrameda on

      Wow what an excellent article!! About time to clean up all those corrupt & cahoots namely who’s in charge as you said it was like Greenspan as federal reserve here in US.. Plus the media how twisted their report & should get penilized from wrong doing about reporting ..

    13. Likewise, may the good Ambassador investigate the $1 Billion that the Ph loaned (daw) to WB. What happened to Ph money? Or it was just a charade to cover the payment of sovereign guarantee messed up during the decades of Yellow’s privatization (pillage) of state properties para mapunta sa kanila. Then, pinpointing to Macoy as corrupt at magnanakaw. Thank you, sir, for every enlightenment you share to ordinary Pinoys.

    14. You say that AMLC can only”give account details “upon written approval by the holder of the bank account and upon a court order.” and blame the obnoxious and thief (DAP/PDAF) Aquino and his ilk for AMLC’s revelation of such details even without a court order or the account owner’s consent.

      Yet, here we go again. Is President Duterte, my idol, the “court” or “account owner” you are referring to as the authority for AMLC’s power to provide account details? If he is not, then why castigate the AMLC for complying with the law now though obviously belatedly? Should AMLC again play the role – which you most despise – as the present administration’s hatchet against its enemies?

      If AMLC did the wrong thing before by acting as a stooge for the corrupt Aquino regime, AMLC would be repeating its unlawful act by playing its role again as a hatchet for the decisive and determined Duterte Government.

      The right thing to do is to simply accept the fact that this country and its government are run by the oligarchs who shift alliances for their own aggrandizement and therefore accept the reality that the laws or rules that run this country are only as good as when these laws or rules benefit them. That way, we can justify all things that the people in government does to whomever.

      Also, if we believe everything that you have just written about, then really, this country has been run by people who never committed corruption in their lifetime in power. Macapagal-Arroyo, Mike Arroyo, Binay, Aquino, Abaya etc were all clean and they never benefited themselves and their families when they were in power, and all those claims against them for corruption were just invented and all the poor in this country just have had the bad luck of not consulting feng shui every time the new year comes.

      So sad that you are wasting your talent and your space to salvage people who have unworthy causes and have only sunk this country into dire poverty. My suggestion to you is for you to stop defending these people and instead take a hike and then join the revolution .

      • Duterte said AMLC had been uncooperative with the requests of the Department of Justice. Duterte knows the law so he is not asking for it himself. it is the DOJ. Anyway after his tirade AMLC sent the requests through. #takot

      • Sithel Silvanesti on

        Lol you entirely missed the point of the article. AMLC has its own mandate. The article just suggested that it should be apolitical and work on its mandate or resign if they can’t do their job.

    15. Thank you for your column today, Sir Tiglao. And Congratulations! May your tribe increase.
      Please do a couple of investigations re (1) the 1 billion dollars given by Noynoy to the WB, touched in his first SONA and (2) the Malampaya scam under Noynoy which unfortunately was overtaken by the Corona impeachment case.
      Salamat po.

    16. Its about time these people in AMLC must be investigated and put behind bars or hang them once the death penalty is passed….including morales and those yellow reporters…..this must end or else filipinos will continue to suffer bcz of these shits…

    17. Yes, e agree that Tetangco is not an honest CB governor because he is playing politics. A few days agol, there was an article which revealed that Tentangco washed his hands in the matter of the illegal manner and the partisan manner the AMLC is doing their jobs..His apologist says that he, Tentangco has nothing to do with the AMLC and the office of this corrupt government agency have it’s office in the CB. Now we know that it is a lie because it turns out that Tentagco’s job description is he is the Chairman of AMLC and he takes responsibility is to oversee the performance of the AMLC. Tentangco also became a partisan of PNoy after his position was extended by this man. Tentangco cannot excuse himself from the responsibility of the corrupt acts of all AMLC bigwigs. Tentangcos tenure must not be extended and the present AMLC high echelon must be replaced and start a clean slate.

    18. Victor Caballero on

      The president has yet to go after the so-called big guys … Big guys because of the mandate of the people or the littlest guys … I guess he’s too preoccupied with the war on drugs or biding his time to consolidate support in the military and the bureaucracy before actions taken … Remember he was elected with the support of the people and not with those in power at the time … There are still many sharks out there and around to devour him and his supporters whenever they got the chance … It’s dangerous waters … With missteps along the way and learning on the job … No chance for them with solid support from the people … We say Mabuhay …

    19. Its about time every anomaly of a monopoly should be cracked open. This is what we call INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM !!!! unlike other medias who rely on speculations… manila times just nailed it… thank you sir

      • I’m wondering why PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER is up to now operaring. A bias newspaper for the Liberal Party/Oligarch Aquino/Cojuangco Clan has everything on it;s disposal to mock, ridicule every opponent they want to be destroyed … Now you are exposed … time to closed shop because your newspaper is a mouthpiece of the Yellow organization.