Malacanang on Wednesday allayed fears that the Philippines will be blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) due to the alleged changes in the chairmanship of the country's Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
"The FATF potential blacklist over changes in the chairmanship of AMLC has no basis," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a press statement.
Abella said President Rodrigo Duterte has not given his imprimatur on the AMLC changes.
"He simply complained of some AMLC members of serving other masters," Abella said.
Last November, President Duterte criticized AMLC for not actively pursuing possible money launderers, including personalities allegedly linked to the illicit drug trades.
In response, former President and now Pampanga congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has filed a bill stripping the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) of the AMLC chairmanship.
The bill drew criticisms including from the FATF, an international body regulating policies to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.
According to Manila-based newspaper Philippine Star's sources, the Philippines could be included in the blacklist if Arroyo's bill will be passed into law.
"The bill proposed by Representative Gloria Arroyo has to undergo deliberations in Congress. We, therefore, expect that the FATF blacklist risk mentioned would be considering during the discussion," Abella explained.
Source: Philippines News Agency