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Plan to abolish PCGG meant to streamline gov’t offices – Palace

/ 10:14 PM July 27, 2017

Katrina Camille Pena of the Presidential Commission on Good Government holds a set of jewelry from the so-called Hawaii Collection, one of the three sets of the Marcos jewelry, during appraisal by Sotheby’s at the Central Bank of the Philippines on Nov. 27, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. The Hawaii Collection was seized by the US Bureau of Customs upon the Marcos’ arrival in Hawaii in 1986 and is now under the custody of the Philippine Commission on Good Government or PCGG. The recovery of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth, including jewelry, is among the main functions of the PCGG.  (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

MANILA — There is nothing political in the Duterte administration’s proposal to abolish the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), according to Malacañang.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said on Thursday, President Duterte’s government would like to streamline operations as the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has been handling cases involving the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos while the PCGG has been performing the “administrative function.”

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“It’s not a political question, it’s a question of streamlining and being able to consolidate functions so that there will be no overlap,” Abella said.

Asked whether the OSG could focus on the recovery of ill-gotten Marcos wealth given the number of cases it has been handling, Abella said the agency has given the assurance that it could handle the work.

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The proposal to abolish the PCGG, which came from Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, was made a few months after President Duterte allowed the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, a move that resulted in protests throughout the country.

Abella also said the President’s threat to abolish the Commission on Human Rights, a constitutional body, was an expression of his frustration about its supposed biases.

He noted that the CHR, bein a constitutional body, could not be shut down by mere legislation.

But he said its chair and members “serve at the pleasure of the President.”

The chair and members of the CHR, while appointed by the President, have a fixed seven-year term.

Presidential chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo said the President could not replace officials with fixed terms, but said CHR chair Jose Luis “Chito” Gascon should resign for lack of impartiality.

“I think this Chito Gascon, since he is not functioning as an objective human rights commission chairman, should have the decency to resign,” Panelo said.

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Gascon should let someone not “vengeful, vindictive, or subjective” take over the post, he said.

Panelo said Gascon has kept on criticizing the President but has not filed a single case against him.  SFM

Ernesto Abella

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC)

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TAGS: Chito Gascon, Commission on Human Rights, Ernesto Abella, executive department, Ferdinand Marcos, Government agencies, government offices, Ill-gotten wealth, impartiality, Jose Luis “Chito” Gascon, Malacañang, Office of the President, PCGG abolition, Philippine Government, Philippine president, President Commission on Good Government, recovery of ill-gotten wealth, Rodrigo Duterte, Salvador Panelo, streamlining of government services
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