Where did P168B go? PCGG seeks accounting | Inquirer News

Where did P168B go? PCGG seeks accounting

/ 02:11 AM January 02, 2015
Andres Bautista, head of the Philippine Commission on Good Government, which is tasked to recover the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, speaks in a news conference in Mandaluyong City on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. The Philippine government has recovered the remaining $29 million of the multimillion-dollar Swiss bank deposits stashed away by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. AP PHOTO/BULLIT MARQUEZ

Andres Bautista, head of the Philippine Commission on Good Government, which is tasked to recover the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, speaks in a news conference in Mandaluyong City on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. The Philippine government has recovered the remaining $29 million of the multimillion-dollar Swiss bank deposits stashed away by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. AP PHOTO/BULLIT MARQUEZ

MANILA, Philippines—The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) is considering seeking an inventory of the recovered Marcos ill-gotten assets of about P168 billion that it has remitted to the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) since the agency’s creation in 1986.

“We want to make sure the money was spent wisely,” said PCGG Chair Andres Bautista, while conceding that a detailed accounting of the PCGG’s remittances intended for agrarian reform and human rights abuse victims was beyond the scope of the agency’s functions.

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Under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (Carper), all assets recovered by the PCGG and all proceeds from the sale of ill-gotten property, except those set aside to compensate the rights abuse victims during martial law, would go to fund agrarian reform-related projects.

Reparation for victims

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The Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 provides that reparation for the martial law victims come from the forfeited $356-million (then estimated at P10 billion) Swiss accounts of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

According to Bautista, the PCGG would want a detailed breakdown and accounting of all the money it has remitted to the national treasury in the past 28 years to ensure that they were actually used for agrarian reform and recompense human rights victims.

“It is just to monitor where the money really went and make sure it is going where it should,” he explained.

The remittances from the PCGG are mandated to go to Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program-related projects, including the construction of farm-to-market roads and bridges, acquisition of irrigation facilities, rural electrification, provision of potable water and credit assistance. Agricultural lands sequestered by the agency were transferred to the Department of Agrarian Reform for distribution to farmer-beneficiaries.

From dummy foundations

The funds to compensate victims of human rights abuses during the Marcos regime are to be sourced from the late dictator’s forfeited $356 million stashed in five Swiss accounts under the Marcos dummy foundations: Azio-Verso-Vibur; Xandy-Wintrop; Charis-Scolari-Valamo-Spinus-Avertina; Trinidad-Rayby-Palmy; Rosalys-Aguamina; and Maler.

In 2003, the Supreme Court ordered the accounts forfeited in favor of the government by virtue of a 1997 ruling by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, declaring them to be owned by the Republic of the Philippines.

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Bautista admitted that accounting for its remittances to the BTr was technically not a function of the PCGG when the agency was created by President Cory Aquino’s Executive Order No. 1 in 1986 and when it was placed under the supervision and control of the Department of Justice in 2007.

Nevertheless, he said that he saw no harm in asking for a full accounting of the P168 billion remitted by the PCGG to the national treasury.

RELATED STORIES

PCGG recovers $29M from Marcos loot

PCGG turns over P247 million from sale of Marcos ill-gotten property

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TAGS: accounting, Assets, Bureau of Treasury, Marcos ill-gotten wealth, PCGG
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