Senate to study measure to abolish the PCGG

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Wednesday said they will study the abolition of the Presidential Commission on Good Government although they are open to it.

“What is more controversial actually is the abolition of the OGCC [Office of the Government Corporate Counsel],” he said.

He said the new Office of the Solicitor General law will abolish and merge the two other agencies with the OSG as the surviving entity.

The PCGG, Pimentel said, can really be merged with a larger office to be part of the specialized division. “It does not have to exist on its own,” he said.

“So we are studying what is really the role of OGCC, what is really the role of OSG,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senator Bam Aquino said that the move to abolish the Presidential Commission on Good Government could be a part of a wider scheme to revise history.

In a television interview, Aquino said the objective of the PCGG remains relevant as there is still billions of Marcos money to recover.

Aquino said that instead of abolishing the PCGG, the government should actually strengthen it, Aquino said.

“I think what we need to do is strengthen the PCGG. They need to do more of their job. Marami pang pera na hindi pa nahahabol, maraming bank accounts pa ang pinag-uusapan na hindi pa nakukuha ng Philippine government. They need to do a better job, but again, maybe the task is not to abolish them, but to strengthen them,” he said.

Established over three decades ago after the People Power revolution which toppled Marcos, the PCGG was tasked to recover around $10 billion looted by the dictator and his allies during his 20 years in power marked by massive corruption and abuse.

The agency has since recovered P170 billion or about $3.4 billion in ill-gotten wealth as well as jewelry, art, and other assets.

But it has yet to recover millions more, including 200 pieces of art by masters like Michelangelo and Picasso, alleged to have been purchased by the Marcos family.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier questioned the need for the PCCG, saying the latter should have been “an ad hoc agency.”

“They [the PCGG staff] enjoy things because they have so many perks,” he remarked.

Aquino, a nephew of Marcos’ staunch critic, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr, said the law creating PCGG was the “first piece of paper that actually said that there is ill-gotten wealth.”

“Baka ‘yun ‘yung isang rason bakit gustong tanggalin ang PCGG, para mabura sa ating kasaysayan na merong nakaw na yaman ang mga Marcos,” he said.

“This could be part of historical revisionism again. Baka gustong baguhin na naman ‘yung ating kasaysayan sa move na ito,” he said.

He said there is no counterpart Senate bill to support the abolition of the agency after the House of Representatives passed on third and final reading a bill abolishing the agency.

Topics: Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III , Presidential Commission on Good Government , Office of the Solicitor General , Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno
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