Abolish PCGG, it ‘outlived its usefulness’ – lawmaker
MANILA, Philippines — Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante has filed a bill seeking to scrap the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) which is tasked with recovering billions of dollars in wealth plundered during the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s late father, arguing it has “outlived its usefulness.”
The PCGG has since 1986 retrieved about $5 billion from the family of the incumbent President but about $2.4 billion is still caught up in litigation.
The PCGG was established a few days after the elder Marcos fled a popular uprising against his two decades of decadent rule at the helm of what many historians consider one of Asia’s most famous kleptocracies.
Former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. died in exile in Hawaii in 1989, after which his family returned to the Philippines to launch a comeback culminating in his son’s landslide election victory in May.
“If after that long period of time, they failed to establish whether the sequestered assets are ill-gotten or not and who are the owners of these assets, they will not be able to do so even if we would give it another hundred years,” Abante said.
READ: PCGG paradox: Agency battles abolition calls
During election campaigning, the Marcos family insisted its vast fortune was legitimately obtained and the commission was merely an “anti-Marcos agency.”
Part of the billions recovered has been used to compensate thousands of victims of state brutality during the notorious 1970s martial law era of the late Marcos Sr.
The previous President vetoed an attempt to abolish the PCGG in 2018, but the latest effort is unlikely to face resistance, with Marcos Jr. commanding a legislative super-majority.
Marcos Jr.’s cousin is Speaker Martin Romualdez, his son Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos is the representative of Ilocos Norte’s 1st District, and his sister Imee Marcos is a senator, underlining the power and influence still wielded by the Marcos family, decades after its humiliating retreat.
READ: Ex-PCGG exec recalls Marcos Jr.’s role in ill-gotten wealth cases
The President’s press secretary did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the bill.
Opposition Akbayan party-list vowed to block it, calling it “an attempt to abolish the country’s sense of justice and history.”
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