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No politics involved in plan to abolish PCGG—Abella

By: - Reporter / @JhoannaBINQ
/ 03:32 PM July 27, 2017
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella —MALACAÑANG PHOTO

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella —MALACAÑANG PHOTO

The looming abolition of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), the agency tasked to recover the ill-gotten wealth of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, does not involve politics, a Malacanang spokesperson said on Thursday.

When asked if the agency’s dissolution could slow down the efforts to run after the Marcos loot, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said: “I think it’s a question of streamlining, there’s no politics there.”

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Once dissolved, the PCGG will transfer its cases to the Department of Justice’s attached agency—the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG)—which handles the criminal cases filed against the Marcoses.

“The [OSG] actually handles the cases filed… to run after the Marcos ill-gotten wealth while the PCGG actually handles the administrative function,” Abella told reporters.

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“So based on the proposal, the OSG can also handle the administrative functions as well,” he added.

On Wednesday, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the government is planning to abolish the PCGG and “transfer its remaining activities” under the DOJ.

READ: House approves bill rightsizing gov’t to level up delivery of public service

The proposal will push through once Congress approves the Rightsizing the National Government Act of 2017, a key legislation of the Duterte administration.

Since its inception in 1986, the PCGG has recovered a total of P170-billion of Marcos ill-gotten wealth, including the family and its cronies’ properties, corporations, Swiss bank accounts, jewelries, and artworks.

The PCGG estimated the Marcos loot between US$5 billion to $10 billion, most of which were deposited and hidden abroad.

In October last year, President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that the late president’s daughter, Ilocos Norte Representative Imee Marcos, donated to his presidential campaign. He also admitted in one of his interviews that he has debt of gratitude to the lawmaker. JPV

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TAGS: Marcos hidden wealth, Office of Solicitor General, PCGG, PCGG abolition, Rodrigo Duterte
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