THE ABOLITION of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) –the lone agency mandated to recover the ill-gotten wealth of the late president Ferdinand Marcos and his family — will pave the way for the Duterte administration to clear the Marcoses of plunder, the opposition group at the House of Representatives said on Thursday.
The Makabayan bloc party-list lawmakers from Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Kabataan and Anakpawis issued the warning after House Bill 7376, a measure that will abolish the PCGG and transfer all of its functions to the Office of the Solicitor General, was passed on third reading this week.
Solicitor General Jose Calida campaigned for then Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos who ran for vice president in 2016.
Calida also defended the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to give a hero’s burial to Marcos before the Supreme Court.
“Calida campaigned for Bongbong Marcos, and the Marcoses still refused to admit to this day [that]they plundered our resources. They have no remorse for what they did. Putting Calida in charge of PCGG functions is clearly a bid to cover up the Marcoses’ plunder,” Rep. Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna party-list told reporters.
During the vice presidential debate in May 2016, Marcos, Jr. was asked if he would return his family’s ill-gotten wealth in the event that he would win the vice presidency. Marcos responded with “I cannot give what I don’t have.”
The Supreme Court, however, ruled in July 2003 that 10,000 victims of human rights violations during Marcos’ martial law regime were entitled to compensation from the $10 billion Swiss bank deposits of Marcos, which the High Court deemed ill-gotten.
“Mr. Calida is a Marcos fanatic, and being such, we all know where the PCGG would end up under him. Giving PCGG’s mandate to Calida is a travesty of justice and spits at the victory of the people who ousted the dictator in 1986,” Zarate said.
“This is an obvious campaign to make the Marcoses look good. We should not forget that the Marcoses stole money from us, and these stolen loot must be recovered,” Rep. Sarah Elago of Kabataan party-list added.
PCGG has recovered around $4 billion out of the estimated $10 billion ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses since the agency was established in 1986. LLANESCA T. PANTI