Solons push PCGG closer to abolition
The proposal to absorb the functions of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) into the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has moved one step closer at the House of Representatives.
The House justice subcommittee on judicial reforms approved on Tuesday the substitute bill consolidating six proposed measures seeking to strengthen the OSG and take over the functions of the PCGG and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel.
The substitute bill will have to be approved by the committee of justice before it is sent on its way to the House plenary.
The approved bill transfers the PCGG’s functions to a “special task force” within the OSG composed of at least five of the its 50 legal divisions. Each division is composed of at least 10 lawyers headed by an assistant solicitor general.
This major change to earlier proposals was pushed by Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate to ensure that PCGG’s original mandate of going after stolen public funds and ill-gotten wealth amassed during the Marcos dictatorship would be retained.
The proposed OSG special task force would be mandated to file and prosecute PCGG cases, continue handling cases for the recovery of ill-gotten wealth and behest loans, grant immunity to state witnesses, and call upon any government agency for assistance.
Pending the court rulings on the forfeiture cases, the task force “shall be responsible for preserving and maintaining such assets.”
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