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PCGG seeks details on planned Senate visit to BSP vault

MANILA, Philippines –The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has asked for details of a request by the Senate blue ribbon committee to inspect the vault of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)—a move that could be the breakthrough needed to establish whether the monetary authority still possesses the original copies of documents proving the Marcos family’s ill-gotten wealth.

Rodolfo Noel S. Rudy Quim¬bo, director general of the Senate Blue Ribbon Oversight Office Management (BROOM), confirmed the information that the PCGG had sought “details of the representatives who will go” to the ocular inspection and their preferred schedule.

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This came after the BROOM sent the PCGG a letter dated Feb. 27 and signed by Quimbo asking “whether it is possible for the blue ribbon committee, as part of its investigation, to conduct an ocular inspection of the said BSP vault.”

The Senate panel also asked for a list of “recovered ill-gotten wealth” and “items which [the PCGG] is seeking to recover” as well as “their respective amount or value, and their status.”

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List of recovered items

The blue ribbon committee also requested a “list of recovered items placed in the vault” of the BSP.

While the one-page letter that carried the name of blue ribbon committee chair Sen. Richard Gordon did not indicate the words “Marcos” or “Marcoses,” he answered “Definitely!” when asked in an ambush interview whether the original copies of the Marcos documents would be among those that the committee would inquire about.

Gordon earlier announced he would invite PCGG officials to a Senate hearing to explain the succession of losses of ill-gotten and forfeiture cases filed against the Marcoses and their cronies since the latter half of 2019.

The decisions of the Sandiganbayan repeatedly chastised the PCGG for failure to present original copies of documents proving ownership of ill-gotten wealth in four cases involving billions of pesos.

Salonga memoir

Solicitor General Jose Calida, whose office provides lawyers to aid the PCGG in prosecution, has blamed the situation on the late PCGG Chair Jovito Salonga, who Calida insists lost the original papers in New York in March 1986.

But Salonga, in his memoir, recalled personally witnessing the original papers being put in the vault of the BSP.

Gordon, in a meeting with Inquirer editors and reporters in late February, mentioned the need to pressure the BSP into providing information whether the original papers were still in the vault.

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“Ilabas ϣyan! Put pressure on the BSP! Ano bang listahan n’yo d’yan? The Constitution guarantees right to information,” the senator said.

Summon Diokno

Gordon added, though, that he was not aware whether the papers in question were really in the BSP vault.

Earlier, former Sen. John Henry Osmeña noted that Gordon, as blue ribbon chair, could easily summon Bangko Sentral Governor Benjamin Diokno to release an inventory of the BSP vault’s contents to establish whether the central bank has in its possession the original papers pertaining to the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth.

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TAGS: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BSP, Marcos Wealth, PCGG
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