MANILA -- The Philippines' bank secrecy law should be eased to help authorities crack down on fraud, according to a former lawmaker who is running to reclaim his Senate seat in the May elections.
"We have to weaken it because that is the only way you can catch the people who are doing wrong," former Sen. Serge Osmeña told ANC's Headstart.
President Rodrigo Duterte called on Congress to ensure the truthfulness of asset or net worth declarations as he partially vetoed the Tax Amnesty Act.
"I hope he succeeds in getting Congress to at least lift it in cases of fraud," Osmeña said.
The former senator, who is running as an independent, said he would push for the Land Use Code and strengthening the country's coconut industry if elected to a fresh 6-year term.
In 2016, unidentified hackers stole $81 million from Bangladesh's deposit with the New York Federal Reserve and shifted the money to bank and casino accounts in the Philippines.
The difficulty in recovering the money was blamed in part to the Philippines strict bank secrecy laws. Osmena led an investigation into the caper before his term expired.