SENATOR Panfilo Lacson has filed Senate Bill 1025, which aims to relax the rules on bank secrecy by allowing the examination of bank accounts, deposits and records of suspected pushers, manufacturers, cultivators, importers and financiers of dangerous drugs.
"[These drug personalities] can no longer hide their ill-gotten money in banks," Lacson said, as his bill seeks to strip them of their rights under the Bank Secrecy Act.
"Experiences of the past tell us that our country's high regard to the secrecy of bank deposits results to law enforcers’ limited authority in terms of confiscation and forfeiture of money or proceeds of the sale or trade of illegal drugs," he added.
The bill will empower the courts or other competent authorities to order bank, financial or commercial records be made available or be seized.
Under Lacson's bill, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation may seek written court orders for the examination of bank records of a person against whom probable cause is established.
Special divisions of the Court of Appeals that would issue such court orders shall be designated by the Supreme Court, one each for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Information acquired from the examination of the bank deposits shall not be used in the prosecution of offenses not related to the anti-drug law.
Lacson said his bill will support the government’s war against illegal drugs. (Sunnex)