MANILA -- The Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), on Saturday announced its co-sponsorship of a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution combatting the financing of terrorism.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. himself stressed that “money is the lifeblood of terrorism" as he highlighted the country's initiatives to combat the illicit financing of terrorism before the UNSC in New York City.
By law, he said the Philippines defined “terrorist financing as a separate crime” and is working on amendments to the Human Security Act to address the exploitation of cyberspace for terrorism.
According to the DFA, Manila has also adopted the 2018-2022 National Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Strategy.
During his remarks before the UNSC, Locsin cited the need to monitor funds going to non-profit organizations and the relationship between terrorism and the illegal drug trade.
Last Wednesday, Locsin supported calls for the European Union to "immediately cease" the flow of funds to local groups in the Philippines fronting for the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army, which is listed as a terror organization by the bloc itself.
Locsin also pointed out that while remittance agencies have been used as a channel for terrorist financing, the challenge is to balance the requirements of counter-terrorism and the needs of overseas Filipino workers, as remittances account for 9.8 percent of the country's gross domestic product. (PNA)