PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte warned officials of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) on Monday, November 14, that he will give them a hard time if they do not cooperate with the government.
BSP and AMLC are both independent financial bodies that enjoy autonomy from government pressure.
At the celebration of the 80th founding anniversary of the National Bureau of Investigation, the President said he was told by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II that officials from the BSP and AMLC are now "hard to deal with."
"I'd like to address myself to the Central Bank guys and the AMLC. You know, I'd like to warn you to avoid a confrontation between us," Duterte said.
"The Secretary of Justice now says that you are hard to deal with. You better go to the Secretary of Justice or I will go to you. I will call for you and you have to answer so many questions," he added.
Duterte also recalled the time when he was accused of owning P211 million in his bank account.
He was referring to the allegation of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV that he had undeclared P211 million savings in his Bank of the Philippines Island account in Pasig City.
"When I was a candidate, there was a guy senator who's so stupid [to claim] that I have P211 million," he said. "I was just curious, if I had that money, why did you not initiate an investigation? For I really have none."
The President then accused the BSP and AMLC of "protecting somebody who are really into money laundering."
Earlier in his speech, Duterte hinted that there was an individual, whom he did not name, who presently runs a corporation just to launder money.
Duterte said that to date, the government had already accounted a P5.1 billion funds being laundered.
The President said that should the BSP and AMLC refuse to cooperate, he would "make it hard for them."
"You choose: either you cooperate in this government as a republic to protect and serve our people, or don't make it hard for us. Otherwise, I will make it hard for you," Duterte said. (Sunnex)