A legal luminary in the House of Representatives has argued that the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has “failed” in its primary mandate of recovering the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.

Cagayan de Oro 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (Facebook)

During a House Committee on Justice hearing Wednesday, Aug. 24, Cagayan de Oro 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez asked PCGG Chairman John Agbayani on the subject of rightsizing the bureaucracy, which according to the former was the thrust of the government.

“I really believe that Chairman Agbayani and the commissioners would take a second look on how the PCGG would be able to really wind up already it’s affairs,” Rodriguez said, hinting at the proposed abolition of the 36-year-old agency.

Created in the aftermath of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, the PCGG is primarily mandated to recover the supposed ill-gotten wealth accumulated by the late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., his immediate family, relatives, subordinates and close associates, whether located in the Philippines or abroad.

Three decades and change is quite a long time to perform that main mandate, said Rodriguez, chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments.

“It would just also mean that for 36 years, if we are not finished with that particular mandate of recovery, then it has failed. Because how can an agency, to recover the Marcos wealth, and it’s cronies’, is still continuing 36 years down the line?” asked the veteran solon.

“So that’s what my position is…but again, this will go to the Committee on Justice because there have been bills filed to abolish it,” he added.

For his part, Agbayani justified the PCGG continued existence by saying that it continues to remit hundreds of millions of pesos to the nation’s coffers.

“Suffice it to say that the PCGG is a consistent non-revenue contributor to our Bureau of Treasury…it is contributing around P600 million per annum from a P150-million budget consistently,” he told Rodriguez and the justice panel during the virtual briefing.

“In fact, for the year 2022, it has already collected or remitted to the treasury P850 million…exceedingly already its major final output target,” he added.

But Agbayani also admitted that the PCGG hasn’t been able to file cases in connection with its ill-gotten wealth recovery mandate in years.

Rodriguez said that the PCGG’s function of going after personalities and filing cases can be undertaken by the Department of Justice (DOJ) or the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Whatever has not been recovered could certainly be given to an office in the DOJ. What I’m saying is, let us be able to look, especially at this time when we are limited in our resources, that we cannot be continuing to be spending and spending for many, many agencies of our government,” the former deputy speaker said.

“It would be difficult for the group to abolish yourself, but think of the higher calling, the higher objective of rightsizing the government,” he added.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said during the beginning of his tenure that rightsizing or streamlining the government would be among his top priorities.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/08/25/heres-why-cong-rufus-thinks-pcgg-failed-in-mandate-to-recover-ill-gotten-wealth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=heres-why-cong-rufus-thinks-pcgg-failed-in-mandate-to-recover-ill-gotten-wealth)