Amendments to PH’s Anti-Money Laundering laws pushed in Senate
Robie de Guzman • March 5, 2020 • 1200
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday, March 5 pushed for amendments to the country’s existing laws against money laundering amid the alleged influx of foreign cash into the country which is suspected to be linked to illegal activities.
“The bringing of huge sums of money in and out of the country in past months with seeming impunity indicates the urgent need for action from our government, not just by the Executive but also by the Legislative,” Lacson said in a statement.
“Our authorities should keep up with, if not keep one step ahead of, criminals who are trying to do the same,” he added.
He said that while there is a “need to address the corruption that that is one big reason for authorities’ tolerating money laundering,” the gaps at the existing laws, such as Bank Secrecy Law and the Anti-Money Laundering Act, should also be looked into.
“There is also a need to take a long, hard look at gaps in our existing laws, including the Bank Secrecy Law and the Anti-Money Laundering Act,” he said.
Lacson also said that the amendments to these laws should also make sure that they cannot be weaponized for political purposes.
The senator said he has experienced such abuse when some of his accusers prompted him to waive his rights under the Bank Secrecy Law to belie their claims that he has dollars in his account.
“And acting from those experiences, I proposed amendments to the AMLA and filed a bill excluding all public servants from the Bank Secrecy Act,” he said.
Lacson made the statement after Senator Richard Gordon claimed in a privilege speech on Tuesday that some $447 million or equivalent to P22 billion were brought into the country from September 2019 to February 2020, based on the report of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
The sums of cash were allegedly carried by 47 individuals, mostly Chinese nationals, arriving in the Philippines from Hong Kong and Singapore.
MANILA, Philippines – The tandem of Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III has bared the list of senatorial candidates they will be endorsing in the 2022 national and local elections.
The list includes the following senatorial bets:
Antique Rep. Loren Legarda
Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian
Senator Migs Zubiri
Senator Joel Villanueva
Senator Richard Gordon
Former Vice President Jejomar Binay
Former DICT Secretary Gringo Honasan
Former Senator JV Ejercito
Former QC Mayor Herbert Bautista
Former DA Secretary Manny Piñol
Monsour del Rosario
Sotto said the senatorial candidates included in their list are the ones who “deserve to be in the Senate.”
They will also endorse a “surprise candidate.”
“Tulungan niyo po kami sa pagtaguyod sa kandidatura ng ating mga kaibigan. Nakakasiguro po kami na malaki ang maitutulong ng ating mga kandidato sa ating bansa, sa ating mga kababayan, at sa Senado,” Sotto said.
Lacson and Sotto are seeking the presidency and vice presidency, respectively, in the next year’s polls.
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday filed their certificates of candidacies (COC) to run for president and vice president, respectively, in the 2022 national elections.
Lacson and Sotto filed their COCs past 11 a.m.
This is Lacson’s second try at seeking the presidential post after a failed bid nearly two decades ago.
Should they win the election next year, the lawmakers said they will intensify efforts against corruption and illegal drugs and ensure proper balance in the use of national budget.
“Kung ipagkakaloob ng Dios na ang Lacson-Sotto tandem ang mapipiling mamuno isang disiplanong burukrasya ang paiiralin, kabilang na ang maayos na paggastos ng pambansang budget upang makaabot ang biyaya at kaunlaran sa mga liblib na lugar ng bansa,” Lacson said during a short interview with the media after their COC filing.
“If we hold the reigns of the executive department we will able to execute it well. We know the ails, we know the solutions, balance the budget, budget reform, reign the money to the people, enhance the fight in illegal drugs by more emphasis on demand with reduction strategy,” Sotto said.
Lacson is running under the Demokratikong Reporma Party while Sotto is under the Nationalist People’s Coalition. Both lawmakers sit as chairmen of their respective parties.
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson has tendered his resignation from the Senate Finance Committee to focus on scrutinizing the P5.024-trillion budget for 2022.
Lacson, who sat as the Committee’s vice chairperson, vowed to keep a close eye on budget deliberations especially after the Commission on Audit (COA) red flagged several agencies in its recent audit reports.
The senator cited that COA’s audit reports indicate “blatant inefficiency, unconscionable incompetence and worse, probable misuse and abuse of public funds in virtually the entire government.”
“I trust that it is to the greatest interest of our people to once and for all, ferret out the truth behind these reports, put value to the oft-ignored COA mandate, and ensure that there will be no ‘sacred cows’ in making accountable those who have blundered the effective and proper use of public monies,” Lacson said in his letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
Lacson assured the Senate leadership that he will “actively participate in the budget deliberations and reinforce the democratic system of checks and balances.”
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