Philippine Daily Inquirer - Senators wary of bill on bank deposits

8 December 2011

By Cathy Yamsuan | Philippine Daily Inquirer

InquirerSenators are gearing for intense debates over a bill that would allow investigators easier access to or less effort in freezing the bank accounts of private individuals suspected of criminal activity.

Senator Joker Arroyo warned that amending the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 could pave the way for political harassment and could be used against perceived enemies of the administration.

Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada said the bill could send wrong signals to legitimate businessmen while Senator Loren Legarda said it could constitute invasion of privacy.

Senate majority leader Vicente Sotto III is wary about violating bank secrecy laws if an individual is not informed that his deposits are being examined while Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said political rivals can abuse the new law if only to harass each other.