Abolishing PCGG to abolish $10-billion Marcos plunder: Partido Liberal

Abolishing the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) is equivalent to abolishing the $10-billion plunder of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his family and cronies, Partido Liberal officials said Wednesday.

Erin Tañada, the party’s vice president for external affairs, said PCGG’s abolition under House Bill 7376 allows Solicitor General Jose Calida to reverse the gains made during PCGG’s life span, including the recovery of the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth.

“Calida is so obviously pro-Marcos and pro-historical revisionism,” said Tañada, a former deputy speaker.

“How can Calida fulfill his mandate of going after the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth when he supported the vice-presidential bid of Marcos’s son and namesake in election 2016? Worse, Calida even defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to give the late Marcos a hero’s burial back in November 2016 before the Supreme Court,” Tañada added.

HB 7376 allows the Solicitor General to grant immunity from criminal prosecution any person who will provide information or who testifies in any investigation conducted by the PCGG or future cases investigated by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) involving ill-gotten wealth.

Sen. Bam questioned the move to abolish the PCGG, saying it could be a part of a ploy to revise history about the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.

“This will institutionalize historical revisionism. Pilit na binabago ang kasaysayan sa pagkilos na ito,” said Sen. Aquino, adding that the measure has no counterpart measure in the Senate.

“Kung talagang determinado ang gobyerno na labanan ang katiwalian, bakit nais nitong buwagin ang PCGG na siyang naghahabol sa nakaw na yaman ng pamilya Marcos,” said Sen. Aquino.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, the party’s vice president for internal affairs, highlighted that the PCGG was created as a way to render justice for the Filipino people.

“Where is the justice in abolishing an agency whose lead mandate is to fight against corruption? Who will benefit from abolishing such an agency?” asked Baguilat.

“It is not only the Constitution that is currently being besmirched. Our history is also being shamed. Why is it so seemingly easy to forget all about the abuses of the Marcos regime in the face of gaining more power? Until when would we let this happen?” Baguilat added.

According to PCGG, which is mandated to recover wealth plundered from the Filipino people, it has recovered over P170 billion worth of ill-gotten wealth from the family of late dictator and his cronies from 1986 to 2015.

In 2013, PCGG was named as the Best Performing Agency under the DOJ because they were able to return P567 million to the National Treasury recovered from the Marcoses.