MANILA- Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos on Friday welcomed the House of Representatives' approval of a bill abolishing the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), the agency tasked with recovering billions of dollars plundered by her father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
The approval of the bill is a "welcome development" according to the late dictator's daughter, saying it is already "long overdue" since she claims that the agency is supposed to exist for only a year.
Earlier this week, lawmakers approved House Bill 7376 or the proposed "Office of the Solicitor General Charter" on final reading.
It abolishes the PCGG, and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel and merges the two agencies with a stronger Office of the Solicitor General.
A counterpart bill from the Senate needs to be passed for the measure to be forwarded for bicameral consultations. A consolidated bill must then be finalized.
“Sa batas mismo ni President (Cory) Aquino e isang taon lang talaga dapat ang PCGG. Kung bakit tumagal ng tumagal ng higit 30 anyos kaya nakakapagtaka talaga,” she said.
(Aquino's law states that the PCGG should only last for a year. Why it lasted for more than 30 years is really a mystery.)
Contrary to Marcos' claims, there is no mention of the supposed one-year existence only of the PCGG in the executive order of the late president Corazon Aquino which created the agency.
“Yung mga sinasabi ngang cronies hindi natin alam kung san nag-landing, kung saan napunta yung mga properties na na-sequestered,” she said.
(We don't even know where the sequestered properties of the supposed cronies that they claim are.)
The PCGG was set up three decades ago, just after a bloodless "People Power" revolt toppled Marcos, to recover the estimated $10 billion looted by the dictator and his allies during his 20 years in power which were 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 is still working to find millions more, including 200 pieces of art by masters like Michelangelo and Picasso, alleged to have been purchased by the Marcos family.
-with reports from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News and Agence France-Presse