Trillanes wants PSE director investigated for money laundering

ABS-CBN News

Amid a Senate hearing on the $81-million cyber heist, a senator has reiterated his call to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to probe the possible involvement of PSE Director Eusebio Tanco in money laundering.

"Based on the reports, as printed in the newspapers regarding the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report of the Binays, you can see all sorts of transactions that may lead to Mr. Tanco," Sen. Antonio Trillanes said on Headstart.

Tanco's position in the PSE, Trillanes said, is a convenient way to launder money.

He alleged that the joint venture between the Makati City government under then-mayor Jejomar Binay and a private firm where he was also an incorporator earned from the privatization of the College of Nursing in the University of Makati (UMak).

"They’re funneling in funds and even the construction of the building was spent by Makati and yet it’s the private that was benefitting from it."

He claimed that Tanco, Binay, and others received half a billion in kickbacks from the project.

Responding to Trillanes' accusations, Tanco said he is not hiding anything and that authorities are welcome to investigate him

Tanco explained his brokerage "Venture Securities" practices "Know Your Customer" or KYC and they have no government official as their client." Tanco also stressed "Venture has no dealings with foreign stock exchanges."

Tanco said the rest of what Trillanes accused him of was already taken up in the lengthy Senate Hearings presided over by Trillanes on corruption allegations against Binay. Tanco added he explained his dealings with Binay involving the University of Makati, and the School of Nursing he helped set up for UMak through a joint venture between the city and STI. He added that the joint venture itself is audited by SGV & Company, and Trillanes is welcome to look them up as audit reports are public documents.

"Joint Venture offers scholarships to residents of Makati and we charge minimal tuition. We did not get a single centavo from the city and no structure was built for the joint venture. We are tenants in an unused part of the University of Makati and we pay the city rent equal to the rates on Ayala Avenue," he said.

In 2015, lawyer Renato Bondal filed plunder, malversation, and graft charges against Binay, suspended Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay, University of Makati President Tomas B. Lopez, Jr., and System Technologies Inc. (STI) officials for supposedly misusing funds after their allegedly anomalous deal to privatize UMak's College of Nursing .

Tanco is the chairman of STI Education Systems Holdings Inc.

Trillanes added that "there are reports that there are some corrupt government officials are actually investing with Mr. Tanco."

So far, only the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has heeded his request for an investigation.

-- With reports from Warren de Guzman