Press Release
December 14, 2011


The Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies is set to adopt in full the Terrorist Financial Suppression Act of 2011 (Senate Bill No. 2676) authored by Senator Edgardo J. Angara.

Sen. Teofisto L. Guingona III, Chair of the Sub-Committee on the Anti-Money Laundering Act, is expected to sponsor the measure on the floor following yesterday's hearing.

Angara lauded the development and urged for the swift passage of the measure which he filed earlier this year.

"This bill will criminalize the act of financing terrorist activities as an independent punishable offense," explained Angara. "In short, our authorities will be empowered to thwart terrorists even before they act because without funding, terrorist cells will not be able to mobilize their forces."

Under the measure, the government will have the power look into the accounts of suspected terrorists even without a court order and to freeze or shut these down immediately. These measures would prevent the concealment or destruction of incriminating evidence.

Once passed, the authority of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) will be expanded to allow them make pre-emptive and remedial action as well as request foreign assistance, including extradition of suspects.

Angara, vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, had reiterated his call for anti-terrorist legislation when the UK-based analyst Maplecroft released the Terrorism Risk Index back in September. The Philippines ranked 13th among 198 countries for being in "extreme risk" of terrorism acts.

"By striking at terrorist financing, we will be able to cut off their access to their lifeblood and strengthen our authorities' capability to stay one step ahead. Counter-terrorism requires no less," said Angara.

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