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Marcos supporter a step closer to hunting down Marcoses’ ill gotten wealth

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By Xave Gregorio

Solicitor General Jose Calida, a known Marcos supporter, is a step closer to gaining the power to go after the Marcos family’s ill-gotten wealth after the House of Representatives passed on third and final reading a bill abolishing the Presidential Commision on Good Governance (PCGG).

Voting 160 in favor and 10 against, the lower chamber passed House Bill No. 7376 which abolishes the PCGG and the Office of the Government Corporate Council and strengthens the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).

The PCGG, established in the wake of the first People Power uprising which ousted former President Ferdinand Marcos, is tasked to undergo “the recovery of all ill-gotten wealth accumulated by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, subordinates and close associates, whether located in the Philippines or abroad.”

It has already recovered P170 billion of the estimated $5 to $10 billion of ill-gotten wealth from the Marcoses and their cronies as of 2016.

But its powers to run after the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth may soon fall in the hands of Calida, who campaigned for former Senator Bongbong Marcos when he ran for vice president in 2016.

“This bill is an outright historical revisionism,” said Anakpawis party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao. “Nagtatago at isang smokescreen lamang ang pagpapalakas ng Office of the Solicitor General.”

For ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio, the measure is a move to “rehabilitate” the Marcos family allegedly pushed for by the Duterte administration.

“Mula sa pagpapahintulot ni Pangulong Duterte na ilibing sa libingan ng mga bayani ang diktador na si Marcos hanggang sa kanyang pagsuporta sa vice-presidency ng natalong kandidato na si Bong-bong Marcos,” Tinio said.

With the bill passed in the lower house, it would now be transmitted to the Senate, where at least two key senators—Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senate Blue Ribbon chair Dick Gordon—have frowned upon the proposed law.

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