08 December 2016
SPONSORSHIP SPEECH: AMENDMENT TO THE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING ACT

 

     
 

Mr. President, Honorable Colleagues of this august Chamber:

As Chairperson of the Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, I rise to sponsor Committee Report No. 13, which recommends the approval of Senate Bill No. 1256 entitled, "An Act to Further Amend Republic Act No. 9160, otherwise known as the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, As Amended, And for Other Purposes" which is a bill prepared by the Committee in substitution of Senate Bill No. 45 authored by Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

This is the result of public hearing conducted jointly with the Committee on Justice and Human Rights under the Chairmanship of Senator Richard J. Gordon on 19 September 2016 as well as a Technical Working Group meeting held on 22 November 2016.

BACKGROUND

In 2012 and 2013, the AMLA Law, was further amended by Republic Act (RA) Nos. 10167[1] and 10365[2]. The amendments to the AMLA under RA Nos. 10167 and 10365 and the remedial measures taken to address the identified strategic deficiencies, paved way to the removal of the Philippines from the FATF's list of vulnerable jurisdictions in June 2013. The removal of the Philippines from the said list, however, is subject to the condition that the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) shall monitor the compliance of the Philippines with respect to the enactment of a law including casino operators as covered persons under the AMLA, as amended.

As the Philippines failed to enact the casino bill by 31 December 2015, the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG)[3], in its Plenary Meeting on 5-8 September 2016, decided to give the Philippines until June 2017 to pass the required legislation. Failure to enact the required legislation within the said period would compel the APG to refer the Philippines to International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of the FATF for monitoring (grey list of the FATF), which could eventually result in the black listing of the Philippines.

SALIENT FEATURES

Inclusion of casino operators, junket operators, and real estate agents and brokers as covered persons under the AMLA, pursuant to FATF Recommendation 22.
Inclusion of dealers of high-value goods as covered person under the AMLA, considering that recent money laundering typologies have shown that high-value items or goods are used to launder proceeds of crimes.
Covered Transactions shall now mean:

a. Transactions in cash exceeding P500,000.00, and

(Generally, transactions using non-monetary instruments are captured by banks)

b. Transactions in cash or other equivalent monetary instruments exceeding P500,000.00 for BSP, SEC and IC – supervised covered persons, trusts and company service providers, and casinos and junket operators.

Clarifying the requirement of the suspicion transaction indicator related to predicate crime or money laundering offense, that is, it is based on a reasonable ground to suspect that the proceeds are in any way related to a predicate crime or money laundering offense;

The use of the term "predicate offense" to replace "unlawful activity." Predicate offense is the internationally used terminology referring to unlawful activities from which the crime of money laundering is derived.

Inclusion of the following as new predicate crimes to money laundering:

Other illegal gambling activities under P.D. No. 1602, in addition to jueteng and masiao;
Violations of Republic Act No. 10591, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act;
Violations of Republic Act No. 10175, otherwise known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012;
Violations of Republic Act No. 10697, otherwise known as the Strategic Trade Management Act;
Violations of Chapter II, Title X of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended;
Falsification of documents under Article 171 and 172 of the Revised Penal Code;
Violations of Republic Act No. 8484, otherwise known as Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998;
Violations of Republic Act No. 10173, otherwise known as the Data Privacy Act of 2012;
Fraudulent acts or omissions and other violations of Republic Act No. 8791, otherwise known as the General Banking Law ;
Fraudulent acts or omissions and other violations of Republic Act No. 7653, otherwise known as the New Central Bank Act, as amended; and
Violations of the Insurance Code of the Philippines, as amended.

Granting the AMLC the following powers:

to file directly before the Court of Appeals petition for the issuance of a freeze order and application for bank inquiry;
to issue subpoena any person to compel the production of information, documents, data, papers, etc, and to give statements under oath;
to require the submission of cross-border declaration on physical transport of currencies and bearer negotiable instruments;
to freeze the proceeds of select predicate offenses within thirty (30) days;
to inquire into bank accounts and investment without the need of a court order, in relation to select predicate offenses to money laundering; and
to retain 20% of the forfeited assets, but not to exceed the higher twice the higher budgetary appropriation for the AMLC in the last 2 years.

Providing covered persons the authority to temporarily suspend transactions up to five (5) working days pending verification thereof;
Clarifying the provisions on the imposition of administrative sanctions; and
Mandating the cross-border declaration of currencies and bearer negotiable instruments under the AMLA, as amended
Sen. Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV also filed Senate Bill No. 1242 entitled, "An Act To Further Strengthen The Anti-Money Laundering Act, Amending For The Purpose Sections 3, 3(a), 3 (b), 3(g), 3(i), 7, 7(2), 7(5), 7(6), 7(7), 9(a), 9(c), 10, 11, 14(f), 14(g), and 16; And Repealing Section 20 Of Republic Act No. 9160, Otherwise Known As The "Anti-Money Laundering Act Of 2001," As Amended which was taken into consideration as per Committee Report No. 13.

Mr. President, in view of the urgency of filing this measure, I earnestly insist that this Chamber act expediently on Committee Report No. 13 / Senate Bill No. 1256 entitled, "An Act To Further Amend Republic Act No. 9160, Otherwise Known As The Anti-Money Laundering Act Of 2001, As Amended, And For Other Purposes".Thank you, Mr. President.

Thank you, Mr. President.

[1] An Act to Further Strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering Law, Amending for the Purpose Sections 10 and 11 of Republic Act No. 9160, Otherwise Known as the "Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001", as Amended, and for Other Purposes.

[2] An Act Further Strengthening the Anti-Money Laundering Act, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 9160, Otherwise Known as the "Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, as Amended.

[3] The Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering is a FATF-Style Regional Body (FSRB) in which the Philippines is a founding member. One of its main function is to ensure the its members implement the international AML/CFT standards set by the FATF.

 

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