Senate panel eyes probe on PCGG's many losses vs Marcos ill-gotten wealth cases

Katrina Domingo, ABS -CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2019 03:35 PM

Former President Ferdinand Marcos (center) poses with members of his family on Jan. 15, 1986, namely: his wife Imelda; eldest daughter Imee and her husband at the time, Tomas Manotoc (right); youngest daughter Irene and her husband Greggy Araneta (left); son Bongbong (behind Marcos); and Marcos' grandchildren Luis (on his lap), Alfonso (Irene's lap) and Borgy (left), carried by Ferdinand and Imelda's adopted daughter, Aimee. Malacañang handout/AFP

MANILA - A Senate panel may soon probe the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) successive failure to win cases to retrieve the Marcos family's alleged ill-gotten wealth, Senator Richard Gordon said Wednesday.

The PCGG needs to explain why they keep on losing big cases, said Gordon, who heads the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.

"Lampas na ng 25 years bakit hindi sila nakakahuli ng malalaki?" he said.

In October, the Sandiganbayan dismissed a P1-billion forfeiture case against the family of former President Ferdinand Marcos and the Tantoco clan due to insufficient evidence.

A separate P267-million forfeiture case was also dismissed in the same month after the prosecution submitted photocopies of tax documents, summary of stock transactions, Central Bank of the Philippines documents, Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, local and foreign bank statements.

In August, the PCGG lost a P102-billion Marcos forfeiture case for insufficient evidence.

Gordon said the Blue Ribbon investigation would focus on the procedures within the PCGG, and not on how President Rodrigo Duterte's friendship with the Marcos clan may have affected the agency's performance.

"I'm not gonna even look at that (Duterte's ties with Marcos family). Let's not trivialize it with politics," he said.

"Ang problema diyan walang nagkukumpas. Walang nagsasabi na, 'Ito ang deadline ninyo, gawin niyo yan.' Hanggang maskipaps, maski papaano na lang," he said.

(Nobody is leading there. Nobody is monitoring the deadline, or ordering what to do.)

Senator Imee Marcos, the daughter of the late dictator, will be allowed to participate in the Blue Ribbon hearings involving the PCGG issue, Gordon said.

"She's a duly elected senator. If she needs to defend herself or take a position against those being investigated, it is really up to her," he said.

"The people have elected her and she has every right to be in that investigation if she wants to," Gordon added.

Sen. Marcos earlier urged the public to "move on" from the atrocities committed under her father's decade-long rule, while her brother - former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., - had claimed that the PCGG has been abolished in 2018.

In 2017, Duterte said he plans to create a new anti-graft agency that would replace the PCGG.