Will the Bangladesh Money Hack Case in Manila
Be Handled with Seriousness by the Philippine Senate?
By Apolinario Villalobos
The timely exposition on the hacking of the Bangladesh Central Bank has immensely benefited the senators who are seeking reelection…they who are conducting the investigation “in aid of legislation” in front of the TV cameras. Meanwhile, the statements of people involved in the mentioned celebrated money laundering case in the country are allegedly leading to the obvious cover-up effort by the parties involved.
Numerous cases have been handled by the Philippine Senate “in aid of legislation”, but nothing came out of them, not even the “bills” that are supposed to have been written based on their “findings”, most of which are “hanging”. The televised hearings on plunder cases that landed senators Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, and Juan Ponce Enrile in confinement, have been viewed with suspicion as being ploys to get rid of heavyweight oppositions during the 2016 election as the first two-mentioned personalities have expressed their plan to run for president and vice-president, respectively, years earlier. On the other hand, Enrile has been known as a sharp critic of the Aquino administration, aside from having prodded the two to go ahead with their plan. After having been detained, nothing has been heard about the “second” and “third” batches of plunderers in the list of which are names of the administration people.
Now, with the Bangladesh Money Hack Case that has been transposed into Money Laundering Case, there is a big question on why only Deguito, the RCBC branch manager was charged while the rest who have been named are not. One question leads to another, as concerned persons who cannot stand the gnawing of their conscience came out in the open to tell the “truth”. Will these small fries who are mere ordinary employees stand the pressure from the bigwigs, who are involved? A former lady employee of RCBC who has been interviewed over the radio, expressed her apprehensions that led to her resignation when she was subjected to a barrage of questioning with a consistent advice to “cooperate” to put an end to the case. Despite her insistence that she was telling the truth to the investigating panel of the company, according to her, they were not satisfied a bit.
True to its reactionary image, the Philippine Senate through the senators who compose the investigating committee declared that there is a need to “review” the Bank Secrecy Law of the Philippines. Are these same people, who themselves are sporting questionable images on honesty be expected to be credible and fair enough in their “review”? If these guys are really serious in their job of coming up with relevant laws, with the one on bank secrecy included, they could have done it a long, long time ago, yet.
It should be noted that the lawmakers did not pass the law for transparency of public records that could have given the media, researchers and investigators a sharper clout in scrutinizing questionable projects that vary from “small time” junket travels, seminars, trainings, etc. to “big time” infrastructures, such as highways, bridges, flyovers, buildings, etc. They also relegated to the filing cabinet the documents on the bill against political dynasty, as obviously, it will put an end to their selfish lording over the lawmaking halls of the country. There is also an allegation that the pork barrel system still exists as it has never been eradicated, being hidden behind sheer masquerades of renamed provisions….and, many more etceteras to their hollow promises and hypocrisy.
With the celebrated money laundering case that is being heard in the Senate today, again, “in aid of legislation”, will the impoverished Bangladesh expect a swift and fair result? Personally, I say…only time can tell…if at all!