By Xave Gregorio
Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. prematurely “abolished” the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), claiming that the government agency tasked to go after his father’s stolen wealth is no longer in existence.
Responding to a question about the call of his sister, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, for Filipinos to “move on” from the brutal two-decade rule of their father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., the former senator said, “What do you want to do about it now? You want to file various cases… PCGG has been banned… has been abolished.”
In fact, the PCGG still exists, despite an ongoing effort from Congress to abolish the agency and merge its functions with the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), currently headed by Marcos supporter Solicitor General Jose Calida.
The House of Representatives, in a 160-10 vote, passed on final reading in May House Bill No. 7376 which abolishes the PCGG and the Office of the Government Corporate Council (OGCC) and transfers its powers to the OSG.
A similar measure in the Senate has hurdled the committee level last May and is pending second reading. However, this bill does not seek the abolition of the PCGG and the OGCC.
When the House passed HB No. 7376, Governor Marcos also falsely claimed that the PCGG should have been abolished one year after its establishment.
There is nothing in former President Cory Aquino’s Executive Order No. 1 which states that the PCGG would only be in existence for one year.
EO No. 1 established the PCGG in the wake of the ouster of former President Marcos through the People Power uprising and tasked it to recover all ill-gotten wealth of the deposed dictator, his family, subordinates and close associates locally and abroad.
As of 2016, the PCGG has recovered P170 billion of the Marcoses and their cronies’ stolen loot, estimated by the World Bank – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative to be around $5 to $10 billion.