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Strange Laws You Never Knew Existed: Part 5 of 15 Bank Secrecy Law

The Bank Secrecy Law really rings a bell and it is just a great reminder of the significant event  that ousted one of the Philippine presidents from his office in 2001. People clamored and took their turmoil to the streets of EDSA, hence EDSA 2 came to existence. The Filipino people were compared to a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode due to the refusal of the former president to open "the envelope". 

The refusal was enough to create social mayhem and endless outburst, which were appeased when the impeachment trial finally pushed through. Former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada was charged with plunder and perjury. While he was not guilty of perjury, he was found guilty of plunder and was sentenced to reclusion perpetua. Well, being an actor and protagonist that he was, there was not even the slightest element of surprise when the "plot" worked in his favor, placing him on house arrest. 

Juan dela Cruz should not wonder when a politician charged of a crime, suddenly becomes ill. When politicians are plagued with diseases after being found guilty of a crime,  you know what is going to happen next: the politician will be sent home on vacation or words to that effect. 

Under Section 2 of the Republic Act No. 1405 or An Act Of Prohibiting Disclosure Of Or Inquiry Into, Deposits With Any Banking Institution And Providing Penalty Therefor, "all deposits of whatever nature with banks or banking institutions in the Philippines including investments in bonds issued by the Government of the Philippines, its political subdivisions and its instrumentalities, are hereby considered as of an absolutely confidential nature and may not be examined, inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau or office, except upon written permission of depositor, or in cases of impeachment or upon order of a competent court..."

Under Section 2 of the Republic Act No. 6426 or An Act Instituting Foreign Currency Deposit System In The Philippines, And For Other Purposes, "any person, natural or juridical, may, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, deposit with such Philippine banks in good standing, as may, upon application, be designated by the Central Bank for the purpose, foreign currencies which are acceptable as part of the international reserve, except those which are required by the Central Bank..."

With this law, any politician accused of plunder or perjury stands a chance of getting out of this situation scot-free. They can simply put up a facade as though nothing happened and after which, they are back to business. 

Pinoy Attorney

Written by : Pinoy Attorney

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