By: Elena Grace Flores
Under the AMLA, banking institutions are required to report all “suspicious transactions” to the Anti-Money Laundering Council, the agency which enforces the AMLA. Banks and depositors have opined that this statutory obligation is legally objectionable because it compels the bank to make a judgment call against its own client despite the fiduciary (something built on trust) relationship between the bank and the client.
The AMLA also authorizes the AMLC to petition the Court of Appeals to issue a “freeze order” against a bank account used in illegal activities. A freeze order has the effect of putting the money beyond the reach of the account holder.
AMLA that was authorized by AMLC to freeze the bank accounts of V.P. Binay’s family is, based on the reasons for its enactment, can be an effective weapon against organized crime and large-scale corruption – there is nothing to stop its use against the political opposition and other perceived enemies of the state. Analyze this:
Ultimately the allegations of corruptions against the Binay family is triggered by VP Binay being a strong contender for president in May 2016, and that President Benigno Aquino III is not exactly very fond of his vice president, are matters which have been downplayed by Malacañang. Knowing now the functions of these bodies, questionable events arised:
Question Number One: – Binay, who denies having violated the AMLA, is at the receiving end of the AMLC’s attention.
Question Number Two: Mohagher Iqbal, the main man of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the ongoing peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the MILF, who admitted to the Senate that he violated the AMLA by using a false name in his numerous bank accounts, remains untouched by the authorities.
The Big Question is: Why the special preferential treatment accorded to Iqbal (or whatever his real name is) is a clear indicator that all is not fair and equal in the government’s handling of AMLA cases. The Pnoy administration are therefor nice to their allies and tough to their enemies!
No wonder that the AMLC evidence were not accepted by the court and classified as hearsays!