House Bill 7376, which was overwhelmingly passed by members of the lower house Tuesday, also seeks to transfer the mandates and powers of the PCGG to the Office of the Solicitor General led by Marcos loyalist Jose Calida.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman
Transfer of PCGG functions to Calida-led OSG a ‘lunacy,’ Marcos political detainees say
Gaea Katreena Cabico (philstar.com) - May 18, 2018 - 12:31pm

MANILA, Philippines — Former political prisoners and torture survivors during martial law assailed the House of Representatives’ approval of a bill seeking to abolish the Presidential Commission on Good Government, the agency tasked to go after the loot of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto called the passage of House Bill 7376 a “treacherous move” to block further recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and their cronies.

“While we had criticized the PCGG’s inefficiency and lackadaisical manner in the recovery of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth, abolition of the agency is far worse. This action goes along with the grand scheme of the political rehabilitation of the Marcoses, now sponsored by the Duterte government,” SELDA Chairperson Trinidad Repuno said in a statement Friday.

House Bill 7376, which was overwhelmingly passed by members of the lower house Tuesday, also seeks to transfer the mandates and powers of the PCGG to the Office of the Solicitor General led by Marcos loyalist Jose Calida.

“Transferring the PCGG functions to a government agency headed by a Marcos apologist like Solicitor General Jose Calida is lunacy to say the least, but what can you expect from Malacañang?” Repuno said.

“What could be more perfect in economically sustaining and politically rehabilitating the Marcoses than by assigning another Marcos fan from the Duterte administration who can be depended upon to kill any move against the Marcoses,” SELDA Vice-Chairperson Danny Dela Fuentes added.

READThe proposed additional powers for the Office of the Solicitor General

Calida defended before the Supreme Court the burial of the late strongman at the Libingan ng mga Bayani despite recorded cases of human rights abuses during his rule and campaigned for the dictator’s son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., for the vice presidency in 2016.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque insisted that there was no effort to revise history in passing the bill on third and final reading.

Since its establishment in 1986, the PCGG has recovered at least P170 billion from the Marcoses and their cronies.

The Marcoses have yet to acknowledge human rights violations and corruption during the ousted dictator’s more than 20 years in power.

JOSE CALIDA OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT SAMAHAN NG EX-DETAINEES LABAN SA DETENSYON AT ARESTO
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: May 18, 2018 - 10:10am

The Office of the Solicitor General, led by Jose Calida, wins this round at the House of Representatives in its move to abolish the Philippine Commission on Good Government, or PCGG, the agency that is trying to recover billions in unexplained wealth of Marcos family during the rule of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s and 1980s.

The lower house approves House BIll 7376 with an overwhelming vote of 162-10, in an effort to strengthen Calida's office and remove PCGG.

The PCGG was a product of the first executive order of former president Corazon Aquino after Marcos was deposed in 1986 through "people power."

May 18, 2018 - 10:10am

SELDA, an organization of former political prisoners during the Marcos dictatorship calls passage of the House bill seeking to abolish the PCGG, the agency tasked to recover Marcos ill-gotten wealth, a "treacherous move."

"This action goes along with the grand scheme of the political rehabilitation of the Marcoses, now sponsored by the Duterte government," it says.

May 17, 2018 - 3:28pm

Vice President Leni Robredo expresses worry over the House passage of the bill seeking to abolish the PCGG and turn over its functions to the Office of the Solicitor General.

She says that instead of having an agency focused on going after the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses, it will just be included among the many tasks of the OSG.

She also expresses concern that the job to correct the wrongs of the Marcoses will fall in the hands of Solicitor General Jose Calida, who defended the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Robredo is hoping that the bill to abolish the PCGG will not get enacted into law and calls on the public to be vigilant.

May 15, 2018 - 5:50pm

Reps. Reynaldo Umali, Karlo Nograles, Pantaleon Alvarez, Rodolfo Fariñas and Vicente Veloso are sponsors of House Bill 7376 approved at the lower house today.

It is titled an "Act to Further Strengthen the Office of the Solicitor General" and other related names.

The bill aims to transfer PCGG's powers to the solicitor general's office, including the filing and prosecuting of cases against the Marcos family and recovery of ill-gotten wealth and behest loans.

It also elevates a sitting solicitor general to the rank of a Cabinet secretary.

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