Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd assured the public that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is doing its part to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s all-out drive to run after suspected money launderers.
“Tetangco, a respected member of the economic team, has been providing valuable help in the pursuit of criminals engaged in money laundering,” Dominguez said in a statement Thursday. He was referring to BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr.
Earlier this week, President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at officials of the BSP and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) for supposedly being “hard to deal with” and protecting money launderers.
In his speech during the 80th founding anniversary of the National Bureau of Investigation, Duterte told the BSP and AMLC officials to cooperate with his administration or he will look into their shortcomings.
Dominguez noted it was more of the tedious legal process that has blocked efforts to prosecute suspected perpetrators of money laundering and not necessarily the BSP and AMLC officials. He said the legal impediments underline the urgent need for the Congress to pass legislation relaxing the bank secrecy law.
The Finance chief said noted Department of Justice (DOJ) and its National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have agreed to take steps leading to closer working relationships against money laundering.
“These institutions’ adoption of a much closer working arrangement with respect to investigations on suspected crooks who make use of our tough bank secrecy law to stash their loot in our banking system is expected to preclude from hereon any miscommunication similar to the one that has apparently and unfortunately taken place just recently— and which shouldn’t have happened in the first place as all of these agencies are equally committed as front-liners in the President’s war on criminals and grafters,” Dominguez noted.
The timely submission of documents needed by the NBI for its investigation after the initial “wrinkle” in their working arrangement illustrates that the concerned institutions have been up to the task but regrettably have had to observe the normally tedious procedures as required by law, he added.