AMLC insists on keeping Napoles’ bank records

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines -  The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is appealing a Sandiganbayan order that it present financial and bank transaction records of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles in the plunder trial of former senator Jinggoy Estrada.

In a 13-page motion for reconsideration filed with the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division, the AMLC requested the anti-graft court to reconsider its Feb. 21 ruling affirming its order to subpoena AMLC’s “inquiry report” on Napoles’ bank transactions.

In making the appeal, the AMLC said sharing such information would endanger its own probe on Napoles and other individuals.

The court issued the subpoena in response to a motion filed by Estrada in preparation for the start of his trial for plunder in connection with the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.

In his motion, Estrada requested a subpoena on AMLC’s inquiry report on Napoles’ “bank and other financial transactions” from 2004 to 2012.

Estrada’s camp also asked the court to subpoena any “Suspicious Transaction Reports and Covered Transaction Reports” submitted to AMLC by banks and other financial institutions, “including those pertaining to related accounts relative to Mrs. Napoles.”

In its motion for reconsideration, the AMLC said allowing Estrada access to its reports and memorandum “would not only violate such confidentiality but would also jeopardize the ongoing investigation of the AMLC.”

“The memorandum sought to be produced does not only pertain to the investigation on Mrs. Napoles but also on other individuals who have no pending cases in court or are still subject of investigation. Necessarily, the memorandum would contain details of bank accounts and bank transactions of this other individuals,” the AMLC said.

The AMLC also disagreed with the court’s pronouncement that the reports to which Estrada was seeking access would also shed light on how the AMLC had conducted its investigation of the former senator.

The AMLC pointed out that its inquiry report on Estrada’s bank and financial transactions, now already part of the prosecution’s evidence in the case, is the best document detailing its investigation methodologies.

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