MANILA - Over an hour after President Rodrigo Duterte ranted against the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) on Monday, the institution responded to the National Bureau of Investigation's (NBI's) request for records of bank transactions of certain accounts being linked to the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, however, said he has not yet read his copy of the records sent by the AMLC.
Duterte, in his speech at the NBI's 80th founding anniversary, criticized the AMLC and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for allegedly giving the NBI a hard time over the latter's second batch of request for bank transactions in relation to its probe of the NBP drug trade.
"After the president nagdiskurso kahapon na nagagalit sya sa AMLC, mga 3 o'clock yun, at 4:30 ng hapon dumating yung sagot (of AMLC) na makikita mo 11 November 2016 - yun ang date nung dokumento. Ibig sabihin nung 11 pa ready na, pero yung 11 ballpen lang, blangko yun, nilagay lang ng 1. It could be on the 2nd, 3rd day (from date of request) ready na," Aguirre said.
(After the President reprimanded the AMLC at around 3 p.m., a document dated November 11 was sent over by the AMLC at around 4:30 p.m. The numbers '11' were only written using a ballpen. It means the document could have been ready as early as November 1.)
"May pinanggagalingan si presidente kung bakit siya nagagalit… alam mo tagal namin hinintay yan at hindi dumarating ang response ng AMLC samantalang maraming linggo na ang lumipas at yan ang aming inantay, at yan isasama namin sa complaint (against De Lima, et al.) ng NBI," Aguirre added.
(The President is angry because we've been requesting for that document for several weeks already. We;ve been waiting for that document because that will be included in the NBI's complaint (against De Lima, et al.).)
The justice chief said there was a reason for the delay in the AMLC's response, but refused to discuss it.
He added that Duterte feels bad about the AMLC's perceived lack of cooperation, citing that the AMLC also did nothing when Senator Antonio Trillanes accused Duterte, during the campaign period, of having over P200-million in his bank accounts.
"Dapat ang ginawa ng AMLC, inimbestigahan nila yung akusasyon ni Trillanes at kung inimbestigahan nila makikita nila na walang ganung amount at kung sasabihin nila sa media, lalong mananalo, baka 20-million ang botong nakuha," Aguirre said.
(The AMLC should have probed Trillanes' accusations that Duterte's allegedly had P200 million in his bank accounts. If that was investigated and disclosed with the media, Duterte could have gotten over 20 million votes.)