What is PCGG for?

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EMETERIO SD. PEREZ

THE public investors will again be invited by listed companies to their annual stockholders’ meeting this year. As in the past, they will be made witnesses to the dramas whose dramatis personae are never fully identified. Who really are these stockholders who last year “moved and seconded” the approval the agenda of these annual meetings?

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These “movers” and “seconders” can only be presumed to be company insiders assigned by the management. The assignments are not wrong by themselves but they send the wrong message to the public investors that they are only observers but never participants to the proceedings unfolding before them.

Public investors have been reduced to silence during annual gatherings of stockholders. With the chairman of the board presiding, the uninterrupted events could go on smoothly unless certain blocks of shares remain under writs of sequestration issued by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

Govt nominees
The PCGG, of course, named their nominees to the boards of sequestered companies as if ALL shares were owned the late president Ferdinand E. Marcos or suspected to be held for him by his associates. The sequestration during the reign of the late president Corazon C. Aquino made famous the words “cronies” and “cronyism.”

When googled for its meanings, Merriam Webster defines “crony” as “a close friend of someone; especially a friend of someone powerful (such as a politician) who is unfairly given special treatment or favors.”

Cambridge English dictionary, on the other hand, says “crony” is “a friend or a person who works for someone in authority….”

These definitions could have been the main qualification of Andres Bautista for the PCGG chairmanship. His main task was to go after the hidden wealth allegedly accumulated by President Marcos, his cronies and his family.

Was it also another coincidence that Bautista is now chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec)?

PCGG nominees
Incidentally, there is another Andres who is not a Bautista but a member of the Soriano family. He is Andres Soriano 3rd, who was chairman of the 15-person board of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) during the presidency of Aquino the mother. As chairman, he presided over SMC’s annual stockholders’ meetings that could only be described as noisy and tumultuous today because of sequestration.

From SMC president and chief operating officer, Soriano was tapped by the PCGG, a creation of the Aquino regime to go after the Marcoses, to become chairman and chief executive officer.

The question that may be asked of Due Diligencer is why Comelec and SMC for topics. The answer: With Bautista as Comelec chairman, will Marcos, the son and namesake of the late president, get a fair chance of from Bautista?

Remember, Bautista was appointed by Aquino, the son, to PCGG to continue the mandate given to it by his mother to go after the Marcoses’ allegedly accumulated wealth. Why was he eventually transferred by the same appointing power to Comelec?

Malacañang’s sequestration
The days of sequestration have long been over but PCGG still exists. As Cory’s vehicle for taking over private companies, it remains a reminder of the first Aquino presidency. Unknown to the present and past occupants of Malacañang, writs of sequestration during the Cory presidency were reported to have been issued by Malacañang. They did not even pass through the PCGG, then chaired by the late senate president Jovito R. Salonga.

Perhaps, as a tool of the Cojuangco-Aquinos’ revenge against Marcos and his associates, PCGG remains with us despite the death of Aquino. Does it still operate only for following up court cases against sequestered companies? Why not let the Office of the Solicitor General do the job for it?

Instead of maintaining PCGG, the mother and the son who became presidents should have focused more on finding the assassin or assassins of the late senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr., who happened to be the husband of President Corazon.

What should the government do with PCGG and its rank-and-file personnel? Let other government agencies absorb them. Laying them off or firing them will be adding more to the number of unemployed. Just a suggestion.

esdperez@gmail.com

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