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US can freeze bank deposits of terrorists, the Philippines cannot?

In the news item,
Freeze order cannot
be enforced in RP (see excerpts below) there were lot of explanations why it would be difficult to enforce the Bush order of freezing bank accounts of suspected terrorists.
First, the news item reported:
" Bush's executive order will have to go through a maze of diplomatic and legal processes before it can accomplish, if at all, its objective of draining the pond from which Osama bin Laden's people draw their water. "

This seems to go against another news item:
Arroyo calls for big cuts in gov't red tape
Urges return of Filipino values
By FERDIE J. MAGLALANG
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo moved yesterday to reduce the bureaucratic red tape as various government agencies reported they had cut by more than half the usual tedious processes required for government service.
Meeting with her Cabinet in Malaca?ang, the President noted how these government agencies have complied with her recent directive to cut down the "red tape" or "bureaucratic blockades" to attract local and foreign investments.

Second:
[QOUTE]But without an anti-money laundering law in place and the Secrecy in Bank Deposits Law firmly in force in this country, Bush's freeze order with regard to Abu Sayyaf funds might as well be considered a mere scrap of paper. [/QUOTE]

Now, we know why the anti-money laundering law had difficulty in being passed and why some legistlators would like to incorporate exemptions to the bill. It is very hard not to suspect complicity of some legistlators and law enforcers with the terrorists-kidnapping-for-ransom groups in the Philippines.

Also, it is interesting to note that the news item reported:
The Abu Sayyaf leadership is not stupid. A group of bandits that has managed to run rings around military generals knows how to preserve and protect its money.

What the news item is saying is that the leaderships in the Philippnes- government and law-enforcers and the banks - are the ones who are stupid!

Any person or organization who would try to make things right in the current governmental and bank system will be frustrated with how legistlators, law enforcers and bank officials have installed measures that will assure protection of ill-gotten wealth.

Clearly the Secrecy in Bank Deposits Law is intended to promote money laudering and hiding of ill-gotten money. What percentage of all current bank depositors really require the Secrecy in Bank Deposits Law? More than 90% of individual depositors and account holders are lowly employees and OFWs who could not have more than PhP 500,000 in current deposit. Do you think the Secrecy in Bank Deposts Law would matter to them? I don't think so. Thus, that leaves us with the 10% or less individual depositors that have over million pesos in their accounts, among which only those who cannot explain the source for such amount of money would be supporting and benefiting from the Secrecy law.
How about corporations? I believe that corporations who are up and up with their business dealings have no fear of their accounts being examined or scrutinized. Again, only wrong-doers will try to hide behind the Secrecy law. I wonder whose names will come up if someone try to track who the proponents of the Secrecy law are.
Freeze order cannot
be enforced in RP
Posted: 11:08 PM (Manila Time) | September 25, 2001
By Amando Doronilla
Inquirer News Service

Only in the US

THE EXECUTIVE order issued by US President George W. Bush to freeze the bank accounts of suspected terrorist groups is enforceable only within US territory. Not in this country.

The US government can request, not order, the Philippine government to cooperate or take such steps that may be necessary to immobilize the suspect funds.

But if the funds of the Abu Sayyaf are deposited in a local bank whose head office is based in the United States, enforcing the Bush order will be easy.

The bank can simply refuse to allow transactions on an account suspected to be linked with the local terrorist group. "Orders from the top" could well be invoked should an authorized representative of the account in question tries to withdraw or transfer its proceeds.

Unless the depositor gets a court order instructing the bank to follow the wishes of the depositor (which the bank will likely appeal to a higher court for a final ruling), there is nothing the depositor can do but wait for Bush to lift his freeze decree and allow withdrawals from the disputed account.

But things become more difficult if the alleged terrorist funds are deposited in domestic or Philippine-registered banks. Bush's executive order will have to go through a maze of diplomatic and legal processes before it can accomplish, if at all, its objective of draining the pond from which Osama bin Laden's people draw their water.

For starters, the Bush EO will be sent to the Department of State, which is the equivalent of our Department of Foreign Affairs, for the commencement of diplomatic procedures.

The state department will,Second in turn, endorse the EO to its Philippine counterpart with a "request" that the appropriate action be taken to meet the purpose for which it was issued.

Upon receipt of the state department's letter, the DFA will endorse it to the Department of Justice so the latter can initiate the moves to attach, garnish or confiscate the bank accounts of the Abu Sayyaf.

But without an anti-money laundering law in place and the Secrecy in Bank Deposits Law firmly in force in this country, Bush's freeze order with regard to Abu Sayyaf funds might as well be considered a mere scrap of paper.

Searching for the bank accounts where the Abu Sayyaf may have parked the fruits of its terrorist activities will be the justice department's first major problem.

The Abu Sayyaf leadership is not stupid. A group of bandits that has managed to run rings around military generals knows how to preserve and protect its money.

The millions of pesos and dollars it earned from its kidnapping activities are deposited in accounts under the names of nondescript persons or dummy corporations.

The names "Janjalani," "Abu Abaya," and of other members who had made known their identity to the media will certainly not be found in the banks' signature forms.

Comments

  • I guess there are other ways of going around it in order to effect the freeze of these terrorists bank accounts. This is a special situation of such importance that worrying about the absence of an anti-money laundering law as a precedent is totally ridiculous.

    I think the law schools in the philippines should start teaching some common sense to would be lawyers instead of imbibing their minds with pure legalistic teminologies.

    How many times have we read or heard of some prominent law maker(s) invoke a law that is totally out of touch with a certain situation. Just look at 'Brenda', probably one of our best educated minds of today. An articulate, walking dictionary of laws who failed miserably in politics because she chose to kiss the *** of a leader whose brain is no bigger than a peanut.
  • CrusherCrusher PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    It looks to me that greed and money is the driving force in the Philippines' government, economic, financial, miltary, law-enforcement, health systems, etc.

    For the past twenty or thirty years, every crime seems to be rooted out of someone selling out his power or authority for bribe money or part of a take. Murders are committed to silence potential witnesses against the perpetrators. Bills and laws are passed to protect some favored few with vested interest.

    why can't the Philippines pass a decent anti-money laundering bill? Because some of the legistlators themselves have to protect their ill-gotten wealth.
    There are already several nations with anti-money laundering laws enforced. And it is not like, the legistlators cannot pattern the Phlippine anti-money laundering bill after the US or French, when more than 80% of our laws are clones of the laws in the western world. SO why can the legistlators not just enhanced and design an anti-money laudering law patterned agains after other nations'similar laws? Because, in other nations the laws do not make any exemptions, there is no distinction between public officials and ordinary citizens. The Philippine version cannot do that. At least 50% of our public officials will suddently find themselve without their millions!

    I'll bet that if some one will try to track traveller's fligt manifesto of all airlines that fly out ot the country for the past seven weeks, one will notice that it looks like there is a sudden outflow of well known people and their families to foreign countries. And if those people will be matched against sudden dollar withdrawals from the banks, lots of matches will be found, people are flyihg their money out of the country not for deposit into accounts but for hiding into foreign banks'safety deposit boxes.
  • Tama ka igan! Tiyak parang mga dagang nabulabog ang mga mambabatas na maapektuhan ng anti-money laundering bill na ito. Passing this law is like a bitter pill that they soon will be forced to swallow.

    Dumating na rin ang araw ng mga suwapang at ang dapat nilang pag-isipan ay kung saan sila makakakuha ng malaki-laking alkansiya para pagtaguan ng kanilang milyones na kurakot! :lol:
  • CrusherCrusher PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Originally posted by p.i.joe
    Tama ka igan! Tiyak parang mga dagang nabulabog ang mga mambabatas na maapektuhan ng anti-money laundering bill na ito. Passing this law is like a bitter pill that they soon will be forced to swallow.

    Dumating na rin ang araw ng mga suwapang at ang dapat nilang pag-isipan ay kung saan sila makakakuha ng malaki-laking alkansiya para pagtaguan ng kanilang milyones na kurakot! :lol:

    Palagay ko maraming bumibili ng mga lupa sa malalayong probinsya, para doon nila ibaon ang mga dolyar na nakupit nila!
    Ang sarap nito pag may nag-alaRobinHood at pagnanakawin ang lahat ng mga ilegal na mga dolyar para ipamahagi sa mahihirap. Hindi maisusumbong sa pulis and nakawan dahil, dolyar na itinatago sa lahat ang nanakaw!
  • THE EXECUTIVE order issued by US President George W. Bush to freeze the bank accounts of suspected terrorist groups is enforceable only within US territory. Not in this country.

    The US government can request, not order, the Philippine government to cooperate or take such steps that may be necessary to immobilize the suspect funds.



    "We have developed the international financial equivalent of law enforcement's "Most Wanted" list. And it puts the financial world on notice. If you do business with terrorists, if you support or sponsor them, you will not do business with the United States of America."

    -- President Bush, on his Executive Order freezing United States financial assets of the terrorist orgs.

    Bush's order states that if foreign banks and other financial institutions around the world are unwilling to cooperate with the u.s. in freezing the bank accounts of suspected terrorist, then the United States, in turn, will freeze the assets of those foreign banks which are located here in the USA. furthermore, the u.s. gov't will no longer do business with those uncooperative foreign banks.

    Now all Philippine banks have some type of asset/property located in the USA, because foreign remittance will be impossible without it.

    it is true that the u.s. cannot order the philippine gov't to comply, but they run the risk of not being able to do business with the US anymore :lol:

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