PCGG tends to be used as a ‘political tool’ – Gordon
MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), an agency organized to recover the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses, has a tendency to become a “political tool.”
Sen. Richard Gordon issued this statement on Wednesday after saying that he was planning to start an inquiry into the legal setbacks of the PCGG in pursuing civil cases against the Marcos family.
“This is supposed to be an independent body, an independent commission that is supposed to recover the wealth that has allegedly been stolen,” the senator told reporters when asked whether or not he saw the PCGG changing its approach with every change of administration.
“The problem is it becomes a political tool,” Gordon said in Filipino. “Presidents should put people in the commission that will conduct a thorough investigation — not people who are either allies or enemies of those being investigated.”
‘Must not walk on eggs’
Asked if the PCGG’s apparent losing streak could somehow be linked to the closeness of President Rodrigo Duterte with the Marcoses, Gordon said: “I’m not even going to look at that… You know, let’s not trivialize it with politics.”
“Politics is always, there’s a tendency to trivialize the issue,” he went on.“ Concentrate on the issue, If the issue is somebody stole… let’s focus on that. If you get that mixed up with politics — this person was appointed by this person and this one is an ally of this person — they [investigators] will walk on eggs.”
“This agency must not walk on eggs, must not be afraid of who appointed them but must be focused on making sure that we get what the country deserves,” he added.
The PCGG recently lost its fourth civil case against the Marcoses at the Sandiganbayan involving P200 billion worth of alleged ill-gotten wealth.
The anti-graft court’s Fourth Division dismissed the forfeiture case due to the inability of the prosecution to prove the allegations against the Marcos family.
Gordon, chair of the Senate Committee on Justice and the blue ribbon committee, pointed out that the PCGG could tap the help of other government institutions, like the National Bureau of Investigation and the Anti-Money Laundering Council, to build up its cases.
“If there is indeed that much money stolen, how was it stolen? That would be my first question. And how was that acquired? Why can’t it be investigated properly? Just follow the paper trail,” he said.
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