A move to abolish the Presidential Commission on Good Government could mean an end to efforts to recover billions of pesos of ill-gotten wealth from the Marcoses, the Movement Against Disinformation said Friday.
"Goodbye recovery efforts...You are going to lose all the cases pending because the specialists, the lawyers who worked on this will all be gone," Atty. Tony La Vina, president of the movement, said in an interview with ANC's Rundown.
The late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr, his wife Imelda, and their cronies are estimated to have stolen as much as $10 billion or more than P500 billion, from state coffers during his 20-year rule, based on the World Bank-United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Stolen Asset Recovery report.
PCGG chair John Agbayani earlier said it will take about seven years to resolve all pending ill-gotten wealth cases it is handling against the family of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr.
He said there are still 87 pending cases against the Marcoses, with a combined worth of P125 billion. By Agbayani's estimates, half of the P125 billion may be recovered.
In the interview, La La Vina warned that the abolition of the PCGG is possible after Marcos scion, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jnr, was elected president.
"It looks like it's possible precisely because the President now is Marcos Junior and unfortunately many in the House and the Senate, there is a supermajority, of the administration...they might feel even without any pressure, they might feel they need to do this for the President and his family which is a mistake," he said.
"There will be a perception that if the cases do not progress in the DOJ and the Ombudsman it is because the President himself is the one who prevented it from progressing."
La Vina said the Supreme Court upheld the executive order creating the PCGG precisely because of the massive scale of corruption during the Marcos dictatorship.
"It was a unique moment, it was a unique situation, it was massive plunder by corruption by Ferdinand Marcos Sr who was president for more than a decade. The same thing cannot be said of the corruption with the PDAF scandal and the other scandals we have seen in the last 20 years," he said.
However, he also pointed out that he is opposed to keeping the PCGG up to 50 years after the 1986 EDSA Revolution.
"PCGG lifetime should not extend 50 years after EDSA...We can say it is time to wind up the affairs - it can be 5 years or 10 years but there must be a clear closure of the work that is empirically based on what we have now. Not arbitrary because I think it is arbitrary to close it down now," he said.