Stronger AMLC needed – Guingona

by Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 01 2011 04:37 PM | Updated as of Sep 02 2011 12:37 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A law giving more teeth to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) will soon be in the works.

Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, chair of the Senate's sub-committee on anti-money laundering law amendments, said he will craft a law allowing the AMLC to look into suspicious bank accounts even without the consent of their owners.

"Pero kailangan din kumuha sila ng pahintulot sa korte," he told reporters after a hearing on proposed amendments to the anti-money laundering law.

In his proposal, courts will be mandated to decide on the council's requests within 24 hours.

Guingona explained his planned measure would prevent depositors with questionable accounts from just withdrawing their money upon finding out they are being scrutinized. He said this has happened in the case of former military comptroller Carlos Garcia, who was able to withdraw P128 million even before his account could be frozen.