Palace: PCGG abolition not ‘historical revisionism’; OSG to continue its work
The proposed abolition of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) was not part of historical revisionism but a way to streamline government offices, Malacanang said on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the executive branch respects the decision of the House of Representatives to abolish the agency tasked to run after the ill-gotten wealth of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“’Yan naman po ay isang panukalang batas, ‘yan po ay katungkulan ng Kongreso, ‘yan po ay discretion ng Kongreso. Igagalang po ‘yan ng ating Presidente dahil ang papel naman ng Presidente ay bigyan ng implementation ang ating mga batas,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.
(It is a proposed law and it is the duty and discretion of Congress. The President will respect it because his role is to implement laws.)
He denied criticisms that the proposed abolition of the PCGG was part of the plan to revise history.
“I don’t think so po,” he said.
Senator Bam Aquino had questioned the abolishment of the PCGG, saying it could be part of a bigger ploy to revise history in favor of the Marcos family.
“This will institutionalize historical revisionism. Pilit na binabago ang kasaysayan sa pagkilos na ito (This move is forcing history to be changed),” Aquino said in a statement on Wednesday.
Aquino added that instead of scraping the commission tasked to retrieve Marcos’ alleged ill-gotten wealth, the current administration should strengthen PCGG as it benefits a lot of Filipinos.
“Kung talagang determinado ang gobyerno na labanan ang katiwalian, bakit nais nitong buwagin ang PCGG na siyang naghahabol sa nakaw na yaman ng pamilya Marcos,” he said.
(If the government is really determined to fight corruption, why does it want to abolish PCGG which runs after the stolen wealth of the Marcoses?)
Roque said, however, that the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) would continue the duty of the PCGG should its abolition be passed into law.
“’Yung trabaho naman po ng PCGG, ipagpapatuloy pa rin ng Office of the Solicitor General, at ‘yung mga kaso naman po na sinampa na base sa mga ebidensya na nakalap ng PCGG, ang nagsasampa rin naman ng mga kasong ‘yan ay Office of the Solicitor General din,” he said.
(The Office of the Solicitor General will continue the job of the PCGG. The cases filed based on the evidence that the PCGG gathered, the OSG will also be the one to file those cases.)
The abolition does not mean that the PCGG was inefficient, Roque said.
“Hindi naman po sa inefficient, pero parang, hindi na siya kinakailangan maging ibang ahensya kasi nagawa na ‘yung kabuuan ng katungkulan ng PCGG at kumbaga winding up, at kaya na po ‘yan ng Office of the Solicitor General,” he said.
(Not that it’s inefficient, but it’s like, there’s no need for it to be another agency because the PCGG has done its job and it’s winding up, so the OSG can take it from there.)
The Palace official said the PCGG has already done its mandate.
The PCGG was created after former President Corazon Aquino signed Executive Order No. 1 in February 28, 1986.
“So tingin ko, ‘yung investigation stage, lahat ‘yan nagawa na, at nasa trial stage na tayo bagama’t napakatagal nga ‘yung trial stage na ‘yan, so wala pong function ang PCGG na i-aabandon dahil ang OSG po ang magpapatuloy po ng gawain ng PCGG,” Roque said.
(So I think the investigation stage is finished and we are at the trial stage, although the trial stage is taking very long, so the PCGG isn’t abandoning its function because the OSG will continue it.)
“Lilinawin ko lang po ‘yan. So wala pong revisionism diyan dahil lahat ng katungkulan ng PCGG, ipagpapatuloy po ng Office of the Solicitor General,” he added.
(I will clarify. There is no revisionism there because all the functions of the PCGG, the OSG will continue them.)
Some critics said the proposal to delegate the functions of the PCGG to Solicitor General Jose Calida, a known supporter of the Marcoses, would not help.
But Roque dismissed these suspicions.
“Wala naman po, kasi kahit sino naman pong maging political appointee diyan, ang pagpapatakbo ng gobyerno ay nakasalalay sa talagang rank and file workers, and itong batas nga po seeks to promote the utmost professionalism of the Office of the Solicitor General,” he said.
(No, because whoever you appoint there, how the government is run will depend on the rank and file workers, and this law seeks to promote the utmost professionalism of the Office of the Solicitor General.) /je
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