• COMMENTARY

    PCGG: The goose that lays the golden (but rotten) egg

    3

    You don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg of black propaganda against your real or imagined enemies.

    Of course, you don’t, unless the Dexter in you overpowers your wisdom to stay on the side of restraint.

    Instead, in the case of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), you stay the execution of a seemingly endless source of feathers with which to ruffle those of other water birds.

    Created in 1986 immediately after the military coup a.k.a. “people power revolution” against Marcos purportedly to dig up the “ill-gotten wealth” of his estate, as well as those of his “cronies,” the PCGG has since been given one reprieve too many.

    It was given birth by Executive Orders 1 and 2, making it the first official act of the new “revolutionary” government under then-President Corazon “Cory” Aquino.

    The orders, however, were not clear on whether the Marcoses themselves were also to be made “accountable” for whatever riches they may have accumulated (or “stolen”) since the patriarch first set foot on Malacañang (1965) as president with a clean mandate from national elections in that same year.

    Reckoning from 1986, it was still not opportune–last year–to put the Golden Goose down with electricity, needle, rope or bullet.

    Said who?

    Well, for one, a mere factotum of Malacañang, who, in 2015, said it was “not yet time to abolish the [PCGG] as it still has work to do.”

    The talking head was Abigail Valte, the now on-leave, deputy spokesman for President Benigno Aquino 3rd, who noted over radio station dzRB the commission’s “achievements over the years.”

    Valte, however, failed to break down into pesos and centavos the supposed feats, except to repeat herself, “I have been following the progress of the PCGG and we can truly say they have a lot of achievements from the time they started their work, at least, particularly for this [Aquino] administration in 2010.”

    The Palace aide then went into generalizations: “Cases have started moving more quickly. [They in the PCGG] have been able to recover more assets arising out of litigations.”

    Apparently throwing in the towel on a Cory milking cow of yellow bile, Valte said, “But I think even the PCGG recognizes that there should be an end to the cases.”

    Sorry, but the Presidential Commission on the Golden Goose, oops, Good Government, does not, gloating at the gift of longevity it has received from the administrations of Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo, Arroyo again and Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    Much earlier, in 2008 or thereabouts, then-Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. (PDP-Laban) urged Congress “to put the abolition of the [PCGG] on top of its legislative agenda in the wake of the agency’s string of failures in recovering [the]‘ill-gotten wealth’ and the propensity of many of its officials and representatives in sequestered firms for committing corrupt acts.”

    Pimentel made the appeal “in the light of the legal defeat [that the commission]suffered in recovering alleged[ly]ill-gotten assets of taipan Lucio Tan and the alleged dissipation of assets and funds of the Philippine Communications Satellite Corp.”

    He noted that the PCGG “has been at its job for more than 20 years now” and yet, the then-senator said, “many radio stations and some TV stations are still under sequestration without any end in sight.”

    Pimentel cited coconut-levy cases remaining unresolved, “preventing utilization of billions of pesos of funds for rehabilitation of the ailing coconut industry and alleviation of the plight of millions of marginalized farmers and workers.”

    Apparently exasperated with the presidential commission, he said, “I think that even if you extend the life of the PCGG to 100 years, they [in the commission]still would not be able to ascertain the names of the true owners of sequestered firm[s].”

    Senate Bill 292 authored by Pimentel proposed dissolving the PCGG, its powers and functions transferred to two other state agencies.

    He sought the transfer of the PCGG’s authority to investigate and prosecute criminal and civil cases to the Office of the Special Prosecutor, Office of the Ombudsman.

    Evidently, nothing good happened to any of Pimentel’s proposals.

    And nothing will, as telegraphed by caretakers of the Golden Goose, apparently because they–again–have to stay the execution of the PCGG, this time for a provision nowhere to be found in the preamble of its creation.

    In a recent CNN report, Richard Amurao–the PCGG chairman at present– talked about bangles and baubles that are part of the so-called Hawaiian Collection of pieces of jewelry said to be owned by Imelda Marcos and being offered for sale in the international market.

    “The collection is a critical part of the past,” Amurao said.

    The CNN report said, “According to the agency [PCGG], this [sale]has nothing to do with the increasing popularity in polls [the May 9, 2016 local and elections]of Imelda and President Marcos’ son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.”

    Even more defensive was PCGG Commissioner Andrew de Castro, who chirped in the same report, “We’re just exercising our mandate. In fact, more for us that it’s been such a long time so maybe we should hurry it up. Plans for this [sale of the ‘Hawaiian Collection’]were made even before Senator [Ferdinand] Marcos [Jr.] declared his intention to run for [Vice President of the Philippines].”

    Let me guess: The Presidential Commission on the Golden Goose “should hurry it up” because it needs the proceeds for it to be able to throw the gauntlet at Bongbong so that he would be stopped from coming a micromillimeter nearer Malacañang or because the commission–after the sale–must really have to close shop?

    Or, the seller–the government, in this case, the Aquino administration–needs the money for, let me make another guess, contingency expenses, 2016 being a crucial election year?

    Unfortunately, the PCGG, after disposing of the Hawaiian Collection, apparently still wants to live for, what, a million years?

    Sorry, guys, and seriously, but I think Bongbong just needs a few weeks to be the second-highest official in the land.

    Then you in the PCGG can have all the justifications to say, “We’re just exercising our mandate.”

    Indeed, why kill the goose that lays the golden egg?

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    3 Comments

    1. Yes, slay the golden gooses that lays foul, stinky and crooked egg hatched by the Aquinos and the YeLLows! Slain them during the election but watch over the PoCOS machine; YeLLOws might still win!!!!!

    2. The PCGG “convicted” the alleged Marcos wealth without trial and imprisoned somewhere only that agency knows. No visitation allowed!

    3. As discussed by one of your columnists, why sell the jewels for a few hundred millions to be flushed down some politician’s toilet ?

      They would be more useful as national property for display as a testament to a pompous
      past. A lot better than celebrating Feb. 25 !