MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque denied there was "historical revisionism" in moves to abolish the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), the agency tasked to recover the Marcoses' ill-gotten wealth.
Roque was reacting to Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, who said abolishing the PCGG "could be part of a ploy to revise history about the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses."
"Wala pong revisionism diyan dahil lahat ng katungkulan ng PCGG, ipagpapatuloy po ng Office of the Solicitor General (There is no revisionism because all the duties of the PCGG will be continued by the Office of the Solicitor General)," Roque said in a press conference Thursday, May 17.
Roque said he was "the major author" of a bill to abolish the PCGG.
Asked if thinks the PCGG is inefficient, Roque said the PCGG does not need to be a separate agency because it is "winding up" after having done its job. He said the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) can take over.
"Iyan naman po ay isang panukalang batas, at iyan po ay katungkulan ng Kongreso, iyan po ay diskresyon ng Kongreso. Igagalang po iyan ng ating Presidente dahil ang papel naman ng Presidente eh bigyan ng implementasyon ang ating mga batas," he said.
(That's a proposed law, and that is the duty of Congress, that is the discretion of Congress. Our President will respect that because the role of the President is to implement our laws.)
He also brushed off concerns that Solicitor General Jose Calida is a known supporter of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. He said the management of an agency, after all, depends on its rank and file workers.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 15, voted to approve a bill that would abolish the PCGG and transfer its power to the OSG.
Over the last 30 years, the PCGG has recovered at least P170 billion despite working on an overall budget of P2.9 billion over the same period.
Since its establishment in 1986, however, the PCGG has been under fire for taking too long to recover the illegal wealth of the Marcos family. The PCGG itself has also been criticized for being a breeding ground for corruption. – with reports from Mara Cepeda/Rappler.com