Chiz to gov’t: Account PCGG assets first before plan of abolition
Before discussing any plans to abolish the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), the government must account first all of its assets sequestered through the years since its formation in 1986.
This was the sentiments of Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero following the government’s plans to abolish some of the government agencies including the PCGG.
“Before any talk of abolition, PCGG sequestered assets since 1986 must be inventoried and accounted. Ang lungkot naman kasi kung yung nakaw, ninakaw lang pala ulit (Because it would be sad to know that those recovered stolen goods would be stolen again),” Escudero said in a text message on Friday.
Escudero said abolishing the agency may only “lead to the unintended consequence of hiding misdeeds committed by the agency in the past.”
“A mere cursory observation of some of the well-known sequestered assets of PCGG, (i.e. paintings, jewelry, buildings, shares of stocks) would show their undue depreciation and absence or lack of due diligence in its care and preservation, not to mention losses,” he said.
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, meanwhile, stressed the PCGG should have accomplished its objectives being a single function agency for 30 years.
“I am open to revisiting the reason for its continued existence. Mga 30 years na po ‘yan single objective niya dapat by this time, achieved na ‘yan (That single objective had been there for 30 years now, by this time it should have achieved its purpose),” Pimentel said in a text message.
“It makes one wonder, bakit hindi pa tapos (why is it not yet done)? So pwede na ipasa ‘yan sa ibang agency na hindi single function agency So, that can be passed on to other agency that is not single function agency). The assumption is nasa tail end na rin ang PCGG sa work nito after 30 years,” he said.
On Thursday, Malacañang said President Duterte’s government would like to streamline operations of the PCGG 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.”
Palace clarified that there is nothing political with the suggestion, which was made by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
“It’s a question of streamlining and being able to consolidate functions so that there will be no overlap,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said. JPV
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