PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is not accusing Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. of corruption, but declined to clear the rest of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), which Tetangco heads .
The President made the clarification in an interview with ABS-CBN News a week after he demanded the resignation of BSP officials and accused the AMLC of non-cooperation in his government’s fight against money laundering.
Tetangco sits as AMLC chairman in his capacity as BSP governor.
“I don’t have a problem with BSP Governor Tetangco. I have a problem with AMLC. I think some people in AMLC are corrupt,” Duterte said.
The President, however, did not elaborate on such corruption and disclosed that the AMLC already gave the Justice department the information that it needs to pursue those who are involved in illegal drugs and benefiting from drug money.
“The AMLC already gave me the things I need,” Dutere added.
Asked whether he would keep Tetangco in his post, Duterte noted that Tetangco is barred by law from a third term as central bank governor. The President added, however, that he would look into such possibility.
In remarks after signing the 2017 national budget last December 22, Duterte described the BSP and AMLC officials as a bunch of crooks who were still “hungry” for money despite their fat salaries, but did not name names.
“You guys there are all corrupt, bantay kayo sa akin [I’ll keep an eye on you]. I will bring you down. [Tetangco] is about to retire. Better prepare there because I’ll give you a whack. 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.
On the same day, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd clarified that Duterte was only asking for the resignation three AMLC officials, two of them embattled Sen. Leila de Lima’s “fraternity brothers.”
“The President was referring to the people implementing the law. The one in the office of the executive director, the deputy, and the head of investigation,” Aguirre told reporters in a chance interview in Malacañang.
The AMLC’s executive director is lawyer Julia Bacay-Abad. Its compliance and investigation group is headed by Vencent Salido, also a lawyer. Roland Villaluz, another lawyer, heads the legal services group.