November 14, 2016 — President Rodrigo Duterte today called out the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for allegedly being uncooperative with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the latter’s handling of money laundering cases.
Speaking during the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)’s 89th founding anniversary in Manila, Duterte said Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has reported that the AMLC has been difficult to deal with.
Duterte said the BSP was also part of the problem.
“I’d like to address myself to the central bank guys and the AMLA (AMLC)… I’d like to warn you to avoid a confrontation between us, central bank people,” he said.
Duterte said he suspects that there are people inside the AMLC and BSP who are ironically complicit in money laundering activities.
He said one example was when he himself was not investigated for reportedly having millions of pesos in one bank account.
Duterte was put in the limelight during the presidential campaign when Senator Antonio Trillanes IV “revealed” the existence of a bank account reportedly having P211 million in Pasig City.
“And I was just curious, if I had that money, why did you not initiate an investigation? Because I really have none. So you could not tell the public because you were protecting somebody. Who was really into money laundering? Mine is, simply tell the public how much my worth is in this world,” he said.
Duterte said the AMLC and the BSP “failed miserably.”
“Sinabi na nga na may P200 million, bakit ‘di niyo ako inimbistiga? So that the people would also know. You are also part of the garbage, which I resent to this day,” he said.
Duterte said the DOJ was finding it difficult to speak with the AMLC. “The Secretary of Justice now says that you are hard to deal with,” he said.
Duterte ordered both the AMLC and the BSP to immediately communicate with the DOJ.
“You better go to the Secretary of Justice or I will go to you. I will call for you. And you have to answer so many questions. you choose. Either we cooperate in this government to protect and preserve our people. Do not make it hard for us, otherwise I’ll make it hard for you,” he said.
He said the AMLC and BSP officials should reveal the anomalies related to money laundering.
“Do not give me a reason to have a confrontation. Ipalabas ninyo kung ano ang mali diyan. There are millions stashed there in the bank, that are being washed or just being kept there meantime. Go to the Secretary of Justice, explain to us in public, or I will do the explaining for you. Choose.”