• PCGG urged: Audit coco levy fund, too


    The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) must also subject the coconut levy fund to a comprehensive auditing, one of the victims of human rights violations during martial law urged Friday.

    House Deputy Minority Leader Neri Colmenares made the call following PCGG’s disclosure that P168 billion of the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth is unaccounted for.

    Colmenares said at least P72.8 billion in coco levy funds must also be liquidated.

    “These funds should have completely been used for the benefit of farmers and human rights violations victims during martial rule but up till now majority of peasants and Marcos victims are neck deep in poverty,” the Bayan Muna congressman pointed out.

    The coco levy fund was set up during the martial law years to provide assistance to the farmers and develop the industry. The fund, however, went instead to the business cronies of President Marcos.

    Colmenares is one of the authors of the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 which provides that compensation for martial law victims will be sourced from the forfeited $356 million or P10-billion worth of Swiss accounts Marcos kept.

    The Supreme Court recently ruled that P85-million coco levy fund belongs to the national government and must be returned to the coconut farmers.

    “As one of the principal authors of the Marcos Compensation bill, we will ensure that the funding for his victims are not stolen or diverted to other budgetary items,” Colmenares said.


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