Lawmakers back eventual PCGG abolition

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HOUSE members agreed it was time to let the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) wind down its operations and allow regular government agencies to pursue and recover the remaining ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and their cronies.

Rep. Simeon Datumanong (2nd District, Maguindanao), a former Justice Secretary, said the PCGG has existed long enough and did what it could in pursuit of its mandate to recover and preserve ill-gotten wealth, as well as investigate and prosecute cases involving the same.

“It is now time for the PCGG to retire,” said Datumanong.

He proposed that the Department of Justice take over the remaining OB of the PCGG. “Once that wealth is ill-gotten, the DOJ may be able to handle the proper case that could amount to recovery of such wealth,” said Datumanong.

By virtue of Executive Order 643 issued on July 27, 2007, the PCGG was placed under the administrative supervision of the DOJ.

Rep. Carlos Padilla (Lone District, Nueva Vizcaya), a former House Minority Leader, said it was enough that the PCGG has existed for 26 years, and it should now allow the DOJ and Department of Finance to complete its remaining work.

“The PCGG’s remaining job can perhaps be given to regular government agencies like the Department of Finance and Department of Justice as the case may be,” said Padilla, a former House Minority Leader.

Earlier, PCGG Chairman Andres Bautista proposed the filing of a “winding down” bill that seeks to abolish the PCGG and assign its functions to the DOJ and DOF.

Bautista said because of its inadequate budget, the PCGG cannot initiate search- and-recovery efforts even if there are leads to bare more Marcos assets in places like Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

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