AMLAC REPORT LEAKAGE
The leakage of the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLAC) report that led to the freezing of 242 bank accounts, five of which are under Vice President Jejomar C. Binay’s name, creates a “chilling effect” on the business community, Binay said Friday.
Speaking at the 36th National Conference of Employers, the Vice President described the AMLAC report as “whimsical” and expressed hope that the issue would be resolved soon.
“Let us all hope this whimsical use of regulatory powers is stopped sooner than later. It creates a chilling effect on confidence in business and banking system that is detrimental to our economy and development,” he said.
Binay jested that he hopes no one among the participants will be invited to attend the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearings for being called his friends.
“Now that I have referred to you as dear friends, I hope you will not get an instant invitation from the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee to prove you are not my dummies, and your companies, not my dummy corporations,” he quipped.
“It is also my prayer your bank accounts will not be subjected by AMLAC to a freeze order solely on the basis of our friendship and association, or the fact that you are in the same room as Jojo Binay,” he added.
The Vice President lamented the order, saying it is being used to persecute persons affiliated with him.
“Such is the sad fate of some honest and hardworking business persons I know. They were publicly ridiculed, intimidated and harassed, and their bank accounts now frozen simply because they happened to be my friends,” he said.
Binay said he was not surprised that AMLAC’s report had been leaked to other parties even as he himself has not yet received a copy.
“Hindi ko na tatanungin kung “paano” nakakuha ng report na ayon sa batas ay confidential, dahil alam ko naman kung “bakit” inilabas ang report na ito,” he said, noting that AMLAC’s report was one-sided as it has yet to include his respon-ses to the findings.
“Ito po ay mga sabi ng AMLAC. One-sided lamang ang nasabing report. At uulitin ko ang sinabi ko kahapon: The AMLAC is wrong. Maling-mali ang AMLAC,” the Vice President said.
“Lima lang po ang bank account ko, hindi po dalawang daan at apat na pu’t dalawa. Lima lamang sa kasama sa freeze order ang na sa pangalan ko. At lahat ng pondo na nilalaman ng limang accounts naito ay legal at hindi tagong yaman,” he added.
Binay clarified that the funds in his bank accounts came from his income, savings and investments before he joined government as well as the campaign donations when he run for Vice President in 2010.
“Sinasabi din ng AMLAC na ang tanging pinagmulan ng kita ko ay ang sahod na tinatanggap ko bilang inyong Pangalawang Pangulo kaya hindi tugma ang aking kita sa halagang nilalaman ng aking mga bank accounts. Wala pong katotohanan ito,” he said.
“Hindi po itinagong yaman ang sweldo ko bago ako naging Mayor. Hindi po itinago ng yaman ang kinita at naipon ko bago pa man ako mapabilang sa hanay ng gobyerno. Hindi po itinagong yaman ang kinita namin sa aming mga negosyo na nagsimula noon pang dekada otsenta. Nagbabayad kami ng tamang buwis sa aming mga negosyo,” he added.
The Vice President also stressed that the campaign contributions he received was duly reported to the Commission on Elections.
“Hindi rin iti-nagong yaman ang mga campaign donations na deklarado sa Comelec. Maling-mali ang AMLAC. At mas lalong mali na sabihin nila na akin ang dalawang daan tatlumpu’t pitong accounts ng ibang mga tao, kasama na ditto ang mga kilalang negosyante at investor,” he said.
“I remain hopeful that our business sector remains resilient to the oppressive heat of politics and remain focused on the bigger tasks ahead,” he added. /MP