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Sunday, May 19, 2024

AMLA: Servicing the US dollar

AMLA: Servicing the US dollar"The US dollar has become the unofficial currency most countries recognize."

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Part III

When the US abandoned the gold standard, technically it converted the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.  It was a coup in international finance that only the oligarchs and their managers anticipated. Some say the creation of the World Trade Organization was expected to precisely allow China to keep the supply chain moving, in which the US remains deeply immersed through outsourcing.  

But when it realized that China was metamorphosing to manufacture items produced by the West, the US soon began to spruce up its diminishing revenue like imposing charges on whatever financial transaction and management services on banks it controls.   

From an unofficial reserve currency, the US Congress proceeded to impose on the central banks of the world the role as guardian, purser, and custodian of its overseas currency. After all, the US dollar became the unofficial currency most countries recognize. As a medium of exchange, credit cards issued by American-controlled banks collected charges, fees, fines, and penalties for the slightest violation of its rules.    

The US made a monopoly and a killing in the use of credit cards and made sure all are tied up to big corporations to be assured of stable income.  In fact, the US is the only country in the world to punish people for bringing out their own money without permission from their own government. US control and monopoly in banking and commercial transactions led to its pressuring of countries to enact their anti-money laundering law.  First, the US dollar was acknowledged as the universal medium of exchange.  Second, most of the world’s transactions were carried out in US dollars.  Third, it perilously continues to tread on the policy of printing money so as not to disrupt world trade. Fourth, to allow it to continue its clout of imposing sanctions on countries that refuse to obey its unilateral banking rules often against the mandate of the WTO.

Notably, people use the US dollar as a consequence to the high value of the currency. Often, restrictions are made to advance US policy like prohibiting or limiting the use of the currency to purchase goods classified as inimical and/or dangerous to US interest.    

All countries that have their respective anti-money laundering laws are under obligation to protect the dollar, which strictly speaking, represents or symbolizes the sovereignty of another state. The AMLA law makes it illegal to bring out dollars without permit and authority of the country even if it rightfully owns them.  

Maybe there are valid reasons for restricting the use of the US dollar as currency like preventing the purchase of illegal drugs, preventing financing terrorist activities, from supporting violent organizations, or in procuring arms intended to overthrow the government.  But to regulate and control the flow of the dollar outside its jurisdiction is tantamount to inferring into the internal affairs of a sovereign state.   It is the use of the dollar that now dictates the policy of a given state.  

Of course, we do not deny that there has to be some regulations in the use of the currency.  Yet, to this day nobody has asked why people are being punished for bringing out of the country foreign currency they own. Notably, the anti-money laundering law is intended to: 1) To protect the dollar, it having been converted into a universal currency; 2) as a source of revenue in the form of fees, charges, and penalties for using the dollar as currency exchange.  3) To assure the world the US dollar will continue to be the universal medium of exchange even if it has lost much of its intrinsic value.   

The drawback to this is that holders of dollar account now become the target of scrutiny if perceived to be anti-American. Taking this into account, it seems that the exercise of authority to safeguard and protect the dollar appears to be out of the country’s jurisdiction and without limitation. The currency is now used to harass and blackmail political leaders. Often local authorities carry out this obligation without remuneration but only in the name of diplomatic reciprocity.  

Lest we forget, the only enforceable laws in the Philippines are those enacted here and apply to Filipinos on any subject owned by the Republic of the Philippines.  The proprietary ownership of foreign currency belongs to the owner of that currency.  It is our approval of the anti-money laundering law that complicated the situation.   

The enforcement and confiscation of foreign currency under the Anti-Money Laundering Law or much more of arresting persons in the Philippines for violating these rules means that the country has effectively been reduced as a colony of the US.  Officially, we have no obligation to protect a foreign currency except when they are used to violate our own laws like counterfeiting or the minting of fake US dollars.    

The passage on July 3 2001 or R.A. No. 9160 or An Act Defining the Crime of Money Laundering, and the approval on July 23,2012 of R.A. No. 10365 or An Act Further Strengthening the Anti-Money Laundering Law, Amending for the Purpose of Republic Act No. 9160, Otherwise Known as the “Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001”, has caused many political and economic analysts to think deeper of its implications.  Our own Central Bank and monetary authorities such as the BIR have become the adjunct of the US Federal Reserve Bank and Department of Treasury entrusted to oversee the enforcement of laws intended to protect and safeguard the integrity of their currency.

Since most of those caught are using US dollars, legally speaking they are arrested for violating US laws that have been extended to us by our enactment of the AMLA.   For this, we really do not know if the US authorities collect service fees or share with us the penalty or fine imposed for our services.    

Moreover, the law has been cleverly tailored to fit the AMLA in such a way that the law will not mention anything about the US dollar but instead use the generic term of foreign currency to avoid detection that it violates our sovereignty. Remember, almost 95 percent of those caught smuggling US dollars or using the facilities of the bank to carry out their modus operandi.

Officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Reserve Bank, and the US Bureau of Treasury often come to participate and intervene in the investigation and prosecution of those involved in violating the AMLA, which means we apply our criminal law for violating a law on foreign currency.  

Nonetheless, all these seem to have been totally ignored by former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales in her desperate attempt to drumbeat her unfounded fear that we are about to be mired in a debt trap by China.  She purposely ignores the more serious problem of accumulating debt which the US has unilaterally imposed and now demanding an extra assignment of protecting their currency.   She sets aside the truth – that it is the US that has been engaged in the nefarious practice from the imposition of usurious interest rates resulting in the defacing in the value of our currency.


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