Court Orders Forfeiture Of PHP23 MILLION Drug Proceeds In Favor Of PH GOVERNMENT
In its Decision promulgated on 30 August 2019, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Manila granted the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLC) Petition for Civil Forfeiture of over PhP23 million, which stemmed from the proceeds of drug trafficking.
On 18 September 2014, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency - Region 1 (PDEA-RO1) implemented a search warrant at the residence of Genaro A. Taliño in Brgy. Becques in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. Operatives found bags of shabu and six bank deposit slips.
PDEA-RO1 referred the deposit slips to the AMLC for financial investigation, and upon inquiry on the basis of Resolution No. 29-A dated 27 May 2015, the AMLC filed, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), a Petition for Civil Forfeiture before the RTC in Manila. The Petition covered the said accounts, including eleven (11) other related accounts.
The RTC, in turn, granted the Petition and made permanent the Asset Preservation Order (APO) dated 18 January 2016. The Decision also directed the forfeiture in favor of the government and placed under the authority and disposal of the AMLC, the fifteen (15) bank accounts with balances amounting to over PhP23 million.
As of 2018, the AMLC has turned over almost PhP49 million cash and seven hectares of land, estimated to be worth PhP10 million, to the Bureau of Treasury. The recent RTC Decision now brings AMLC’s total turnover to over PhP82 million worth of assets.
The AMLC investigates suspicious transactions, covered transactions deemed suspicious, money laundering (ML) and terrorism financing (TF) activities, and violations of the AntiMoney Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA), as amended and the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 (TFPSA). The AMLC also gathers evidence to establish probable cause required in the filing of applications for bank inquiry, petitions for freeze orders, civil forfeiture cases, and criminal complaints for ML.
In 2018, the AMLC adopted an asset preservation system on the management and preservation of assets and properties that are subject of asset preservation order and judgment of forfeiture. This allows the AMLC to ensure that during the pendency of cases and after their forfeiture, the assets do not diminish in value, including perishable assets converted into cash before remittance to the National Treasury or, in appropriate cases, to the requesting State.
Through timely use of provisional and confiscation measures, criminals are deprived of the proceeds and instrumentalities of their illegal activities. Ultimately, this makes lawlessness unprofitable and reduces both predicate crimes and ML.