Press Release
February 16, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara has filed a bill to criminalize the act of financing terrorism as an independent offense, noting the Philippines' vulnerability to terrorism with the series of violent attacks in recent time.

"Terrorist financiers are the enablers of merchants of death - whether politically motivated or driven by greed. The Philippines is gaining notoriety as a dangerous country--the so-called 'Terror Hotspot' in the region. We have shrugged this off as exaggeration until the Makati bus bombing which shocked the nation--prompting officials into much-needed action," said Angara.

Senate Bill No. 2676, the Terrorist Financial Suppression Act of 2011, seeks to criminalize the act of financing terrorism as an independent offense. Those who are convicted will be sentenced to prison time or will be penalized with a heavy fine from Php500,000 to Php1 million.

"Cutting the terrorists' funding would effectively prevent them from engaging in such large-scale crimes against the public. We must therefore provide the authorities with the laws to help them arrest and prosecute financers even before the act of terrorism is committed," he said.

The Terrorist Financial Suppression bill grants authority to investigators to look into suspicious bank accounts even without a court order, and the power to freeze said account immediately as a pre-emptive move against possible terrorist acts.

At present, the bill entitled "An Act Defining Terrorist Financing As A Crime And Providing Penalties Therefor" has been referred to the Committee

on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, and the Committee on Justice and Human Rights following its first reading.

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