Increase in PCGG budget needs study: Palace

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 04 2013 05:52 PM | Updated as of Jan 05 2013 01:52 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A Malacañang spokesman on Friday said a proposal to increase the budget of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) should first be studied and approved by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Asked if the budget of the PCGG should be increased to help them perform their mandate, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said: "As with any budget proposal, it will have to be justified to the Department of Budget and Management why you want an increase as with any other agency."

"'Yan po ang hinaing ng lahat ng ahensya na kailangan po ng mas maraming pondo. We understand and we recognize the limitations that we have. So any proposed increase in their budget will be thoroughly screened and vetted."

Asked if the Palace is entertaining a compromise agreement with the Marcoses, Valte said: "None that I remember for any particular case. Meron pong sa aking recollection, the PCGG under previous administrations have entered into agreements to settle some of the cases."

PCGG Chairman Andres Bautista earlier confirmed he had recommended to President Aquino that the commission wind down its operations and transfer its work to the justice department.

Bautista said it is too costly to maintain a separate government agency dedicated only to the pursuit of the Marcos family's ill-gotten wealth.

In the last 26 years, the PCGG has recovered a total of $4 billion in cash and assets of the Marcoses and their cronies.

The government, however, will continue the hunt to recover the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth, estimated at around $10 billion, even if the PCGG is abolished. With a report by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News