THE ANTI-MONEY Laundering Council (AMLC) has frozen P8-billion worth of assets since 2003, AMLC Executive Director Matthew M. David said on Monday.

“Since the inception of the AMLC, so far we have frozen approximately P8 billion, both accounts and real properties and personal properties,” Mr. David said at a Senate hearing on Monday.   

He said assets that were subject to civil forfeiture were worth P3 billion, while the remaining P5 billion are pending litigation or were not forfeited.

From 2003 to this year, assets forfeited and turned over to the National Government were worth P93 million, while forfeitures pending execution stood at P95 million.   

Assets forfeited but awaiting writ of execution totaled P16 million, those forfeited but under appeal stood at P35 million, while corruption-related assets turned over to the Office of the Ombudsman were at P110 million.

Meanwhile, assets returned to the victims and third-party complainants totaled P751.086 million. Those forfeited but with pending third-party claims were P83 million, and around P8.4 million assets have pending incidents in courts.

Mr. David said the AMLC had seven petitions for the issuance of freeze orders from January to June.

On the other hand, he said the AMLC shared a total of 784 intelligence reports to various government agencies in the first semester, a 16% increase in 2022 from 673 reports in 2021. 

These intelligence reports are classified into reactive Covered Transactions Reports or proactive Suspicious Transaction Reports.

The AMLC was created in 2001 pursuant to Republic Act No. 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act as the Philippines’ financial intelligence unit tasked to implement relevant laws to protect the integrity of bank accounts.

Last year, the AMLC released guidelines on the management, selling, and turnover of assets that were frozen or subject to civil forfeiture as the country seeks to prove it is implementing tighter rules against “dirty money” and terrorism financing.

The AMLC is also in charge of managing assets covered by provisional or indefinite preservation orders. It likewise has jurisdiction over assets that are subject of forfeiture, whether in cases that have been judged with finality or are still pending in court.

It is also directed to turn over assets related to dirty money or terrorism financing to the Bureau of the Treasury or other government agencies, foreign jurisdictions, or other claimants designated by the court. — KBT