Governments urged to enhance coordination vs. terrorist financing

MANILA -- Measures to institutionalize tie-ups with other governments and foreign tax institutions vis-à-vis funding for terrorism show the Philippines’ resolve to fight international terrorism.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, in a recent statement, raised the need for governments to collaborate to put a stop to money laundering, which has been proven to be among the main modes of funding terroristic activities.

He cited greater coordination between Philippines’ intelligence and law enforcement authorities to trace, seize, and forfeit funds suspected as being used or to be used to finance terroristic acts.

Asked for specifics regarding any amount of money unearthed by the Philippine government tied to terroristic activities, Dominguez declined to elaborate.

“Sorry, but I can’t answer that as the information is a matter of national security to us and other countries,” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Earlier, Philippine authorities have asked European authorities to stop the flow of funds from Belgium and other country-members of the European Union (EU) that are allegedly being used to fund activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Citing data gathered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine authorities who met with officials from EU, European Parliament, and the European Commission (EC) said about 621,000 Euro (PHP36,663,840) has been released to the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, an organization suspected to be the front of terrorist groups.

The PNA earlier reported that the amount is the initial batch for this year since around 1.3 million Euro (PHP76,752,000) is expected to be released to the group this year.

The report also said that the Belgian government has set up an annual grant of about 15 million Euro (PHP885,600,000) to some Belgian non-government organizations (NGOs) for 2017-21 without knowing that some of these are fronts of terrorist groups. (PNA)

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