Abolishing PCGG sends wrong signal: Selda


Posted at Jan 03 2013 09:55 AM | Updated as of Jan 03 2013 10:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Human rights group Selda opposed Thursday the proposed abolition of the Presidential Commission on Good Government.

In an interview on ANC's Headstart, Selda national coordinator Jigs Clamor said if the Aquino administration is bent on pursuing the ill-gotten wealth case against the Marcoses, now is not the time to give up.

"It sends a signal kasi when you recommend to wind down, it says 'Tigilan na ang paghahabol sa Marcoses.' It is very ironic  to think that the Marcoses are now back in power especially in the second Aquino administration."

He alleged the PCGG has not done its best since only 40% of the $10 billion ill-gotten wealth has been recovered.

PCGG Chairman Andres Bautista has confirmed that he had recommended to President Aquino that the agency's work be transferred to the justice department.

He said pursuing all of the Marcos wealth on a limited budget had become difficult with Marcos's widow, Imelda, and her three children back in positions of power.

Clamor, however, pointed out that once all the ill-gotten wealth has been recovered, it will outweigh the cost of litigation expenses.

Selda represents a group of former political prisoners in the Philippines. The group says they cannot just forgive and forget what the Marcoses did to them.

President Ferdinand Marcos was toppled by a popular revolt in 1986 and replaced by Corazon Aquino, the incumbent's late mother. Her first act was to create the commission to try to recover the plundered assets.

Bautista said the commission has recovered 164 billion pesos ($4 billion at the prevailing exchange rate), or less than half of the estimated 10 billion dollars in wealth believed plundered by the Marcos family. With Agence France-Presse