Palace: PH remains ‘responsible member’ of banking world
Amid the alleged $81-million money laundering scheme that placed the country in the global spotlight, Malacañang on Saturday said that the response of government agencies since the issue erupted proved that the Philippines remained to be a “responsible member” of the banking community.
“Definitely we are working with everyone to ensure there is transparency and talagang malaman ang talagang nangyari at paano ito mapre-prevent mangyari ulit (to know what really happened and how to prevent it from happening again),” Communications undersecretary Manolo Quezon said over state-run DZRB, highlighting the actions undertaken by the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the Court of Appeals in freezing the bank accounts involved in the alleged scheme.
“So what does this tell us? First of all, pinapakita (it shows) that we are a responsible member of the banking community,” he added.
The Senate is currently conducting an investigation on the cross-border electronic fraud and money laundering scheme where $81 million from the central bank of Bangladesh slipped through the Philippine financial system, with local bank Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) at the center of the controversy.
Despite the heist, Quezon assured the public, especially account holders, that there is nothing to worry about regarding the security and integrity of Philippine banking as all systems are working.
“Nung dumating ‘yung pera sa Pilipinas (When the money entered the Philippines) as far as we can tell, our system was shown to work dahil (because) the alarm bells started ringing and ‘di ba, at doon tumawag na rin ang mga ibang bansa (and then the other countries also alerted us) and in fact, there have been reports that AMLC is working with Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States,” Quezon said.
“We should be aware that sineseryoso ito ng Bangko Sentral, pinapakita ng AMLC na ginagampanan niya ang kanyang trabaho (the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is taking this seriously and the AMLC shows that it is doing its job). The Senate is holding hearings in aid of legislation and in fact the Bangko Sentral and the BIR have been giving their recommendations,” he added.
Less than three months before President Benigno Aquino III steps down from office, Quezon said the “groundwork is being laid for future reforms” that would improve the country’s financial system.
“Again, ‘yung pag kinakabahan ang ating kababyaan dahil iniisip nila na masama tingnan ito, I think you can see from kahit sa media coverage abroad and coverage here, syempre may mananagot na mga opisyales, lalo na doon sa bangkong apektado at ‘yun nga ang inimbestiga ngayon but on the whole, you can see that the system is working,” he said.
“In other words, na-expose at inimbestigahan, nahuli at may ginagawang action pagdating sa nakakaabalang kwento na paano ba nakuha ang pera na ito mula sa isang central bank, nadala sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng mundo,” Quezon said, adding that the administration and lawmakers have yet to receive specific recommendations from the BSP on the proposed easing of the Bank Secrecy Law.
(Again, with our countrymen growing apprehensive thinking that this puts the country in a bad light, I think you can see even from media coverage here and abroad that there will be officials held liable, especially from the bank involved, and that’s what’s being investigated now, but on the whole, you can see that the system is working.
In other words, it has been exposed, investigated, uncovered and action has been taken to address this disturbing incident and how this money has been taken from a central bank and transmitted to different parts of the world.) CDG
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