COA: PCGG failed to sell P336-M ill-gotten properties in 2017
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has failed to proceed with the scheduled disposal of any real estate property recovered from the cronies of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 2017, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).
In its 2017 annual audit report, COA said nine properties were scheduled to be put up for public bidding from March to November 2017. But none of these plans pushed through.
“The audit team noted that during the year there was no public bidding conducted to privatize the assets enumerated in the privatization plan,” read the report.
The properties include:
- the 26,812.8-hectare (268.1-million square meter) Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. property surrendered to the government by Antonio Martel and Simplicio Palanca
- the 64,669-square meter Independent Realty Corp. property in General Mariano Alvarez, Cavite, surrendered by Jose Campos
- a 5,952-square-meter lot in Naga City recovered from Roberto Benedicto’s Banahaw Broadcasting Corp.
- a 2,335-square-meter lot in Francisco Evergreen Subdivision, Tagaytay City
- a 1,000-square-meter property in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, and a 300-sqm lot in Calapan City, recovered from Jolly Bugarin
- the 480-square-meter Kingswood property in Emerald Court Subdivision, Caloocan City
- two 300-square-meter lots in Pangarap Village, all surrendered by former Marcos aide Alejo Ganut Jr.
PCGG had planned to raise a total of P336.014 million by selling the assets, as stated in the 2017 General Appropriations Act and in the agency’s privatization plan submitted to the Department of Justice on April 20, 2017.
By failing to push through with the privatization plans, auditors said the “recovery of [P336.014-million] targeted income from sale of assets was not attained.”
The report further noted that the PCGG management continued to fail to sell properties from previous years.
The last time the recovered properties were disposed of was in 2014, when three of 11 real properties were privatized.
The PCGG management told auditors that the reappraisal of the current market value of the assets caused its privatization efforts to be put on hold.
The agency expressed its intention to include the assets in the privatization plan for the year 2018 instead.
PCGG Chairman Reynold Munsayac also explained that the agency had been “hesitant to privatize the assets” due to auditors’ issuance of notice of charges against the previous management.
A notice of charge is issued when the agency undervalues the transaction or charges a lower than expected amount.
Despite these apprehensions, auditors insisted on PCGG’s mandate to privatize the surrendered and recovered ill-gotten assets to prevent their deterioriation and fund the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
“We recommended that management prioritize the implementation of the privatization plan to ensure the continuous support to the CARP Fund,” the report read.
Although PCGG failed to dispose of the assets, it still met the GAA target by remitting P377.66 million to the treasury, P260.85 million of which went to the CARP Fund.
Yet, bulk of the amount, or $5 million (P251.985 million) actually came from the withdrawal of the retained 5-percent contingency fund of Marcos’s recovered Swiss deposits at the Philippine National Bank.
Another P116.073 million came from dividends earned from San Miguel Corp., while P8.15 million represented the rentals paid by Mid-Pasig Land Development Corp.
These amounts did not arise from recent recovery efforts, but actually represented sums already won in cases against the Marcos family and their associates in previous years.
This showed PCGG’s tack of “moving forward [with] targets that would include other sources of remittances” to make up for its hesitance to dispose of the surrendered or recovered ill-gotten properties. /atm
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