The case presented depicts a money laundering case. Money laundering is the illicit practice of covering up the source of illegally acquired money bytransferring it through a complex sequence of banking transactions or business dealings. In an ambiguous and indirect way, the general scheme of this method returns the ‘clean’ cash to the launderer. Former Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) branch manager Maia Santos- Deguito is found guilty by the Makati Regional Trial Court on January 10 for money laundering. However, the RTC’s decision was appealed and asked for a motion for reconsideration by Deguito as she explains that there is no act of money laundering that occurs in her case. However, the motion for reconsideration was not granted.
Issues Underlying the Problem
This case primarily deals on the issues of money laundering committed by the former RCBC branch manager, Maia Deguito. The case has presented several facts with regards to the problem. The court found her guilty of laundering the $81 million from the Bangladesh Bank in the year 2016. However, she appealed the decision saying that there is no act of money laundering thus, she should not be punished for an act she did not do. She states that the judge only misinterpreted the definition of money laundering and at the same time, misunderstood the evidences found against her. Deguito asserted that no monetary instruments were used in her dealings and even no transactions of the suspected laundered transactions happened in the bank accounts. Deguito was also suspected for facilitating deposits and withdrawals of laundered money even though it exceeded the amount to be considered a covered transaction although she claimed that this does not directly mean to be from unlawful activities. Furthermore, she denied the evidences that she is aware about the illegal source of money. Nonetheless, Makati Regional Trial Court has accepted the testimony of the one who investigated the case and did not grant the appeal of Deguito to reconsider the decision of being guilty from the money laundering case.
Alternative Solutions to the Problem
There can be many ways to possibly fight against money laundering. Establishment of a more formal and stricter Anti- Money Laundering Policy can be done. Moreover, everyone must have sufficient knowledge about the different money laundering schemes that may happen. Through our knowledge, we tend to ask a lot of questions that may gear towards the truth and avoid illegal acts. One must also be mindful, watchful and use initiatives and common sense in such a way that no matter how small a certain suspected act of laundering, it should be investigated earlier to avoid it from getting complicated.
From the presented solution above, I can consider the most effective way to solve the problem is being watchful and the use of common sense. Everything will start from ourselves. People must have a mindset of being knowledgeable and curious at all times as this can be the foundation towards searching for the truth leading to eradicate illegal acts happening in our society today. Once we are curious, we tend to have a lot of questions and ensure that all of these are answered. In this way, we are able to investigate deeper and fuller and may report to the authority for proper actions such as the Anti- Money Laundering Council.
In order to reduce the cases of money- laundering in the Philippines, knowledge and education is one of its keys. Through educating others, people can gain sufficient information that lead to the avoidance of the occurrence of money laundering among them. Change starts with a small step. And one of the small steps that needs to be undertaken is obtaining knowledge on money laundering, its possible methods or schemes, probable solution and the laws that pertains to it. Through this, the humanity might achieve a world where money laundering cases will not continue to increase, be reduced and be avoided.