MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration is thinking of abolishing the agency that goes after the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.
This was disclosed on Wednesday by Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokono, who said the plan to stop the operations of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) was part of a bigger proposal to downsize the executive branch.
“There are many specific recommendations for policy actions under the rightsizing bill. One such proposal is to abolish the PCGG and to transfer its remaining activities to the Department of Justice,” said Diokno.
Also on Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 5707 or the Rightsizing the National Government Act two days after President Rodrigo Duterte during his second State of the Nation Address urged lawmakers to pass the measure.
The bill seeks to grant Duterte the power to eliminate redundant, duplicate, and overlapping functions in all offices under the executive branch to “improve public service delivery.”
Diokno said the decision on PCGG’s abolition would be made by a committee that would be chaired by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
“All decisions by the committee will be in the nature of an executive order to be signed by the President,” the DBM chief added.
A separate report by Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Wednesday quoted Diokno as saying that the administration was thinking of abolishing the commission because it was no longer accomplishing anything.
“They don’t do anything. What do they do?” Diokno reportedly said.
The first executive order issued by President Corazon Aquino in 1986 after her predecessor Ferdinand Marcos was toppled via a popular uprising was the creation of the PCGG.
Among the commission’s primary tasks are to recover all the ill-gotten wealth accumulated by Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, subordinates and close associates and the prosecution and litigation of cases involving said assets.
The PCGG is also mandated to sequester all business enterprises and entities owned or controlled by the Marcoses and their associates during the administration of the late strongman.