Philippine Sandiganbayan Justices Discuss Money Laundering and Financial Crimes with U.S. Experts

Philippine Sandiganbayan Justices pose with Philippine Judicial Academy leadership and U.S. judicial and Embassy personnel.
Philippine Sandiganbayan Justices pose with Philippine Judicial Academy leadership and U.S. judicial and Embassy personnel.

Manila, October 12, 2019 — 21 Sandiganbayan justices participated in a roundtable with U.S. experts organized by the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines U.S. Department of Justice Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (DOJ/OPDAT), the Supreme Court of the Philippines, and the Philippine Judicial Academy.  The event aimed to enhance participants’ capabilities, competencies and skills in examining and adjudicating money laundering and financial crimes, deepen understanding on how to freeze assets, recover laundered property, and ensure proper preservation and management of assets.

Judge Bernice Donald of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit shared her expertise on traditional and emerging methods of money laundering, discussing the role that bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies and the dark web can play in money laundering, as well as other money laundering methods, including using money cards and gift cards, and through online networks.

The knowledge-sharing program was designed to inform justices on relevant laws and decisions, sharpen justices’ ability to analyze accounts and follow the money trail, review emerging methods of money laundering and the role of electronic evidence, and best practices for applying court technology in adjudicating cases.

The justices praised the roundtable.  ‘’The Sandiganbayan justices truly appreciate the [DOJ/OPDAT] for organizing the roundtable.  The topics, especially the rules on electronic evidence, were a valuable revisit of the laws and rules and made [the justices] realize that there is still room for more improvement in the delivery of justice,” Justice Geraldine Faith A. Econg stated.

As a friend, partner, and ally, the United States will continue to support the development of the Philippines justice system through judicial training of judges on cybercrime and financial crimes to help ensure that all Filipinos are served by a swift, fair and moderized court system.