Marcos names new PCGG commissioner, 3 other execs
President Marcos has appointed a new set of officials, including the latest member of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), a body created to recover the alleged ill-gotten wealth of his family and their cronies after the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution that ended his father’s 20-year rule.
Named PCGG commissioner was Angelito Vergel de Dios, former executive director of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) Traffic and Transport Management Office, Malacañang said on Thursday.
In August 2010, then MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino, now a senator, ordered the relief of Vergel de Dios from his post because of his alleged involvement in “road payola” or payoffs.
He was reassigned as a senior director of the agency’s Health, Public Safety and Environmental Protection, after serving as traffic head for nine years.
Calls for abolition
During the campaign period last year,Marcos said he would strengthen the anticorruption role of the PCGG to target all graft and corruption cases in the government.
But since he assumed office 16 months ago, the body, currently chaired by John Agbayani, has been hounded by calls for its abolition.
In September 2022, Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. filed a bill seeking to scrap the commission, saying it had “outlived its usefulness.”
In 2018, during the Duterte administration, the House of Representatives passed a bill strengthening the Office of the Secretary General while abolishing the PCGG. But the Senate later deleted the part abolishing the commission as the proposal became more controversial.
Created during the term of then President Corazon Aquino, the PCGG has recovered about $5 billion in ill-gotten Marcos wealth and that of the late dictator’s associates but about $2.4 billion is still mired in litigation.
In another appointment, Marcos designated Bryan Chan Lim as his special envoy to South Korea for trade and investments.
Julius Neri Jr. was appointed general manager, chief executive officer and board member of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).
Former Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas Gutierrez will continue to sit on the board of trustees of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
Gutierrez, who was named to the GSIS board in an acting capacity in April, previously served as Ombudsman starting in the Arroyo administration but resigned in April 2011 during the presidency of Benigno Aquino III shortly after being impeached on charges that she failed to act on several corruption cases.
Lim’s appointment brought to seven the number of Marcos’ campaign donors who have been given government positions.
A recent special report by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) identified the other six as Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr., Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office General Manager Melquiades Robles; Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo Jr., Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevara; Nesauro Firme, representative of the academe in the Judicial and Bar Council; National Housing Authority General Manager Joeben Ang Tai.
At the time of his appointment, Lim was the vice president for Business and Development of Suyen Corp., which owns the local apparel brand Bench.
Based on the statement of contributions and expenditures filed by Marcos after being elected President, Lim donated P20 million to his campaign.