THE ANTI-MONEY Laundering Council (AMLC) has ordered financial institutions and government agencies to immediately carry out freeze orders on accounts and assets of six new individuals designated as terrorists by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC).
The “dirty money” watchdog said through AMLC Resolution No. TF-67, Series of 2023 published in a newspaper on Monday that the orders against entities tagged as terrorists by the ATC’s Resolution No. 41 (2023) dated June 7 should be implemented immediately.
The orders cover the funds and assets of six persons, namely Sarah Abellon-Alikes, Jennifer R. Awingan (or Jennifer A. Taggaoa), Windel Balag-ey Bolinget, Stephen Ambucay Tauli, Jovencio Sannadan Tangbawan, and May Rodriguez Vargas-Casilao.
The AMLC told covered institutions and relevant government agencies to submit a written return for freezing the funds and assets of the designated individuals.
This is consistent with the Philippines’ international obligations to comply with terrorism-related resolutions, including the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution No. 1373 pursuant to Article 41 of the UN Charter.
Relevant government agencies such as the Land Transportation Office, Land Registration Authority, Maritime Industry Authority, and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines were likewise alerted of the freeze order.
Covered institutions are ordered by the AMLC to freeze the property or funds owned or controlled by these individuals. The AMLC said this is not limited to those that can be tied to a particular terrorist act, plot, or threat.
Assets that are wholly or jointly owned by the designated persons and those generated from their funds are also expected to be frozen.
Property or funds of persons and entities that are acting with the direction of designated groups are likewise covered by the freeze order.
“All covered persons are mandated to submit as Suspicious Transaction Report all previous transactions of the designated persons within five days from effectivity of the Sanctions Freeze Order,” the AMLC said.
It added that persons and organizations that have been designated may avail of remedies under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 to challenge this.
The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which provided for the creation of the ATC, is meant to strengthen the country’s measures against terrorist financing and dirty money.
In June, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) urged the Philippines to implement its action plans to exit the global dirty money watchdog’s “gray list” as soon as possible.
Government officials hope the country will exit the FATF’s gray list by January 2024. — Keisha B. Ta-asan