House panel approves bill abolishing PCGG

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 6) — The House Justice Committee has approved the bill abolishing the agency tasked with recovering the ill-gotten wealth of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.

Under the proposed law, functions of the Presidential Commission of Good Government (PCGG) and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel are turned over to the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).

Former President Corazon Aquino — who came to power after Marcos was overthrown by a popular revolt in 1986 amid allegations of corruption and human rights violations — created the PCGG in 1987 as her first act as the country's leader.

The agency was tasked to recover all ill-gotten wealth accumulated by the former strongman, his immediate family, relatives, and close associates here and abroad.

As of 2015, the PCGG had recovered a third of the estimated $10 billion (around ₱506 billion) of the Marcos wealth. Aside from properties, the PCGG said Marcoses may have amassed up to 300 pieces of artwork.

In addition, the commission had filed 248 cases against the Marcoses and their cronies.

According to the World Bank and the United Nations, Marcos started amassing ill-gotten wealth in 1965, his first year  in office.

No politics involved

In July 2017, former Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella denied that the proposal to abolish the PCGG was political, saying that it was part of government streamlining.

Read: Abella: Plan to abolish PCGG has nothing to do with politics

"(The OSG) actually handles the cases filed to run after the Marcos ill-gotten wealth, while the PCGG actually handles the administrative function. So based on their proposal, the OSG can also handle the administrative functions as well," Abella said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has close ties with the Marcos family, which has offered to return any alleged ill-gotten wealth that the government finds.

Read: Marcos to government: If you find our alleged ill-gotten wealth, it's yours

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