Justice chief wants to keep PCGG, OGCC

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2018 07:19 PM

MANILA- Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra prefers to keep the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) in place even as he respects the House of Representatives' move to abolish the two agencies.

The PCGG and OGCC are attached agencies of the Department of Justice (DOJ). 

Formed on February 28, 1986, on the heels of the People Power revolt, the PCGG was tasked to recover ill-gotten wealth “amassed by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, and close associates both here and abroad.”

The OGCC is the principal law office of all government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs), their subsidiaries and other corporate offsprings and government-acquired asset corporations.

“We respect the action of the HoR (House of Representatives). But we’ll maintain our position to keep PCGG and the OGCC under the wings of the DOJ,” Guevarra said in a text message.

Voting 162-10, the House of Representatives approved on Tuesday, on third and final reading, House Bill 7376 or the proposed "Office of the Solicitor General Charter,” which will abolish the PCGG and OGCC.

Principally authored by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the bill aims to eliminate the “overlap of functions” among government agencies, consolidate state legal services into one office, and “effectively address” the expanding needs of government-owned and –controlled corporations.

Under the proposed law, the OSG shall be an independent and autonomous office. It will be attached to the Office of the President for budgetary purposes. 

The measure needs a counterpart bill from the Senate, but this early, it already has its oppositors at the upper chamber, among them Senate Justice Committee chairman Richard Gordon and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.