What's new in DIDM
September 24, 2020, Camp BGen Rafael T Crame, Quezon City. The Philippines hosted the 20th ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (20th SOMTC) via zoom meeting on September 24, 2020. This is the firs-ever conduct of online meeting for the ASEAN member-countries under the new normal due to the current pandemic situation affecting the world. The meeting was chaired by SOMTC Leader Philippines USEC BERNARDO C FLORECE, JR from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and conducted virtually via zoom webinar in B Hotel, Quezon City. PMGEN MARNI C MARCOS, Director DIDM, as the OPR of the said activity in the PNP joined other PNP delegates as Observers where they observed the proceedings via virtual zoom at the PNP Main Conference Room.
Around 160 delegates joined the virtual meeting participated by Senior Officials from ASEAN Member-States, the ASEAN Secretariat, to include members of the Philippine delegation as observers via secured platform provided by the secretariat. No less than DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano graced the said event and emphasized the growing challenges and new forms of transnational crimes that emerged during this pandemic which calls for stronger collaboration among ASEAN member-countries.
The ASEAN member-countries presented a short country report in combating Transnational Crime amidst COVID-19 pandemic. Transnational crime issues such as: Illicit Drug Trafficking, Trafficking in Persons, Terrorism, Arms Smuggling, Cybercrime, and Wildlife and Timber Trafficking. USEC Florece’s country presentation highlighted the efforts made by the Philippine government against COVID-19 pandemic and shared that the Philippines, retained its Tier 1 status in the US State Department’s 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report, which shows the strong commitment of the Philippine government in addressing human trafficking, as the ASEAN SOMTC Voluntary Lead Shepherd on trafficking in persons.
The hosting of the 20th SOMTC via zoom webinar is a joint effort of the DILG as the SOMTC Philippines Leader and other relevant government agencies such as the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Philippine National Police, among others.
Brunei Darussalam will be the next host of the 21st SOMTC and its Related Meetings in 2021. In closing, USEC Florece highlighted his speech on the key outcomes of the meeting and thanked all ASEAN member-states for their support and cooperation to the Philippines as the host of the first-ever conduct of SOMTC meeting via online platform.
November 18, 2020, Camp BGen Rafael T Crame, Quezon City. The Executive Director of the Anti-Money Laundering Council, Atty Mel Georgie Racela and his team made a courtesy visit and meeting with the Director of DIDM, PMGEN MARNI C MARCOS, JR held at the 2nd Flr., DIDM Conference Room, NHQ Bldg., Camp BGen Rafael T Crame, Quezon City. Prior to the said visit, Atty Racela paid a courtesy call and meeting to the new Chief of the Philippine National Police, POLICE GENERAL DEBOLD M SINAS where PMGEN MARCOS joined them and discussed future cooperation with the PNP leadership against money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. The heads of both agencies will soon begin working on drafting a plan to implement the proposed agreement which is complementary with all the previous and existing Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by AMLC to some PNP offices/units.
During the visit in DIDM, PMGEN MARCOS reiterated the instructions of the Chief, PNP to strengthen collaboration and partnership with the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) on the investigation of unlawful activities as specified under RA No. 9160, also known as the “Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001”, as amended, and RA No. 10168, also known as the “Anti-Terrorism Financing and Prevention and Suppression Act (TFSA) of 2012.” DIDM has an existing MOA with AMLC which was signed on September 27, 2019 and will expire in September 2024. The scope of the MOA is to prevent, control, detect, investigate and prosecute unlawful activities (e.g. illicit drug trafficking, fraud, trafficking in persons, kidnapping, theft, cybercrime, IPR violations, child pornography, terrorist financing, environmental crimes and trade-based money laundering, OSEC, etc.) and focuses on information exchange and capacity building.
Atty Racela expressed his optimism for the full implementation of the agreement with DIDM through the intelligence reports shared through the secured information sharing portal while for FIUs, intelligence reports are disseminated via the Egmont Secure Web (ESW). PMGEN MARCOS welcomes the financial intelligence reports shared by AMLC relative to OSEC cases with indicators of a suspected money laundering activity in the country using the various online payment systems and wire transfers. He further expressed his desire for the possible conduct of joint investigation with the CIDG, ACG, WCPC, among others against money laundering offenses. PMGEN MARCOS also cited the proposed training activities to be undertaken by both agencies to further capacitate the PNP investigators and detectives on the financial and general investigation of money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, which is part of the C,PNP’s guidance for PNP personnel to undergo appropriate competency training and technical enhancement activities to level-up their skills set.
Indeed, with the current trends on money laundering and increasing number of OSEC cases in the country, this collaboration and partnership between the two agencies will surely pave way for the successful arrest of OSEC operators in the country and money laundering offenders.