AMLC backs more exceptions to foreign deposit law

THE Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is in favor of a proposed law in the House of Representatives that would expand the exceptions on the disclosure of dollar deposits.
A week after former Chief Justice Renato Corona was convicted by the impeachment tribunal, the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries discussed on Tuesday House bills amending Republic Act (RA) 6426 or the Foreign Currency Deposit Act.
Present in the committee hearing was AMLC Executive Director Vicente Aquino.
To recall, the AMLC earlier provided Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales a document detailing the transactions in Corona’s alleged 82 dollar accounts.
“The Foreign Currency Deposit Act should be amended to increase the number of exceptions. These proposed amendments shall not modify or amend or repeal the provisions of the AMLC,” Aquino told reporters in an ambush interview.
Aquino, meanwhile, refused to comment on the conviction of Corona for his failure to truthfully disclose his assets and net worth.
“It’s over. We have learned a lot, a lot of good lessons,” he briefly said.
RA 6426 was Corona’s excuse for his non-declaration of dollar deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
Contrary to Ombudsman Morales’s claim that he has at least $10 million in transactions in 82 dollar accounts, Corona earlier told the impeachment tribunal that he only has $2.4 million in four dollar accounts.
Corona argued that under RA 6426, foreign currency deposits shall be absolutely confidential “except upon the written permission of the depositor.”
In House Bill 5809, ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio is proposing that the exceptions provided under RA 1405 or the Bank Secrecy Law be applied as well to RA 6426.
Under the Bank Secrecy Law, peso deposits are absolutely confidential “except upon written permission of the depositor, or in cases of impeachment, or upon order of a competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials, or in cases where the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the litigation.”
Leyte Representative Sergio Apostol, chairman of the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries, for his part, however, said he was not in favor of adding exceptions to RA 6426.
“(I’m) not really (in favor). It will depend on the recommendations of the technical working group (TWG) and the committee as a whole,” Apostol said in an interview.
Camarines Sur Representative Luis Villafuerte, vice chairperson of the committee, said the Foreign Currency Deposit Act should be clarified to “address the evils that are deemed to rise with respect to deposits of government officials.”
“The objective of the foreign currency deposit law is that it should not be used as a haven of crooks… We should remove all vagueness in the (absolute confidentiality) provision,” he stressed.
Surigao del Sur Representative Philip Pichay’s interpretation of the law is similar to that of the former Chief Justice.
“Under the existing law, we should not state it. Put it in the amendment that it (foreign currency deposits) should be reported,” Pichay added.
On the other hand, Senior Citizens party-list Representative David Kho pointed out that all cash assets—whether peso or dollar—make no distinction.
“When the law does not distinguish, we should not distinguish,” he said.
During the committee deliberations, Paranaque Representative Roilo Golez, who was appointed to head the TWG, said the House panel should consider inviting Corona to its hearings to “enrich the appreciation” of the law.

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Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines
How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Philippines? Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa. After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left. Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.

Yats Restaurant and Wine Lounge
Mimosa Drive past Holiday Inn, Mimosa Leisure Estate,
Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines 2023

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Mimosa Golf Estate, Clark Field (Clark Airbase), Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines
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