The Monetary Board has confirmed the appointment of Mel Georgie Racela as executive director of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
Racela was designated officer in charge of the AMLC, or more specifically its Secretariat, last January after Julia Bacay-Abad resigned in the wake of President Rodrigo Duterte’s continued criticism of council officials.
“Under Racela’s leadership, the Secretariat’s investigations were aligned with the national campaign against drug trafficking, counter-financing of terrorism, and graft and corruption. Vital administrative changes were also initiated to maximize the AMLC’s investigative and legal capabilities,” the council said in a statement late Thursday.
The AMLC recently also adopted rules on the imposition of administrative sanctions on covered persons, with casinos now deemed covered under the amended Anti-Money Laundering Law.
The council said Racela’s pressing task was to oversee a national risk assessment to determine effectiveness of the country’s anti-money laundering regime and the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering’s upcoming mutual evaluation.
“Racela’s vision is for the AMLC Secretariat to be a world- class FIU (financial intelligence unit) that takes an active role in enhancing financial system integrity,” the council said.
“His goals are to align policies and rules with international standards and to firmly enforce the law and the rules while nurturing a culture of compliance among covered persons. He aims to elevate the country’s international ratings, such as those made by the Financial Action Task Force,” it added.
Racela has had 21 years of experience in the central bank, serving as an examiner in the Supervision and Examination Sector, a lawyer in the Office of the General Counsel and Legal Services, an investigator of the AMLC Secretariat’s Compliance and Investigation Group, and as head of the Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Group.
Before joining the AMLC Secretariat, Racela was deputy director for the Special Projects and Reports Group of the Office of Supervisory Policy Development.
A certified public accountant, Racela obtained his undergraduate degree from De La Salle University and law degree from San Beda College. He also holds a Masters of Law in International Legal Studies from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.