‘Body tasked to recover Marcos assets should finish job first before govt eyes abolition’

Dexter San Pedro | InterAksyon.com

The Philippine agency tasked to recover the Marcos family’s ill-gotten wealth should focus on and finish its job first before the government considers its abolition.

President Benigno Aquino III made these remarks on Tuesday in an interview in Cebu City aired over state-run Radyo ng Bayan.

“Instead of us hastily discussing whether to retain or abolish, I want to make sure that we finish the work mandated to the PCGG,” Aquino said.

He was referring to the Presidential Commission on Good Government, the first agency created by his late mother, President Corazon Aquino after she assumed power from the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Aquino said he wants to see the details of the proposal of PCGG chairman Andres Bautista to close shop sooner than later.

“I want to see the details why he made such an opinion,” he said. “I want to review the process and premises—if indeed the PCGG has already completed its mandate and if we can transfer its tasks to our prosecutors, the Ombudsman, and other entities in the legal or judicial branch of our system. I believe we are still trying to recover a substantial volume of ill-gotten wealth.”

A bill has already been filed in Congress seeking the abolition of the PCGG.

Under House Bill No. 4049, “the powers and functions of investigations and prosecution of criminal (cases) exercised by the PCGG shall be transferred to the Department of Justice.”

Civil cases would then be handled by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel.

These include the “management, administration and the disposition of the assets, as well as the sequestration of the properties considered to be ill-gotten.”

“More than 20 years and four administrations have passed, PCGG has not produced significant accomplishments that would justify its continued existence,” according to the explanatory note of the bill, which was jointly introduced by Representatives Sergio Apostol and Pedro Romualdo.

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