THE House of Representatives has passed on third reading the bill that aims to abolish the Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG), the agency tasked to recover the ill-gotten wealth accumulated by the late President Ferdinand Marcos.
One hundred two lawmakers voted for the passage of the bill, while 10 voted against it in Tuesday's (May 15) plenary session.
House Bill 7376, or the "OSG Charter" principally authored by House leaders including among others House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, also seeks the abolition of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC), the principal and statutory law office of government-owned-and-controlled corporations.
The powers and functions of the PCGG and the OGCC, as the bill provides, will be accorded to the OSG "to eliminate the overlapping functions," address the expanding needs of government-owned corporations and to "enhance" efforts for the full effective recovery of ill-gotten wealth properties and the "efficient" investigation and prosecution of cases relative thereto.
Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao and ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro are among the lawmakers who voted no for the passage of the OSG Charter Act.
For Casilao, the bill is an "outright historical revisionism."
"Nagtatago at isang smokescreen lamang ang pagpapalakas ng Office of the Solicitor General habang totoo sa probisyon ng panukalang batas na ito na ia-absorb ang mga empleyado ng PCGG, at ang gawain ng PCGG ay magpapatuloy, pero hindi ako kumbinsido, dahil ang creation ng PCGG, in the first place, Madam Speaker, is a product of the collective action of the Filipino people to oust a dictator and to recover the ill-gotten wealth of the family of the Marcoses," Casilao said.
"The PCGG, represents, not only as a government institution that retrieves or recover the ill-gotten wealth of the deposed dictator," Casilao stressed.
Tinio, for his part, believes that the bill will bring back the Marcoses to power.
"Malinaw po na bahagi ang panukalang batas na ito, partikular ang abolisyon ng PCGG sa nakita na nating itinutulak ng Duterte administration na rehabilitasyon ng pamilya Marcos. Mula sa pagpapahintulot ni Pangulong Duterte na ilibing sa libingan ng mga bayani ang diktador na si Marcos, hanggang sa kanyang pagsuporta sa vice-presidency ng natalong kandidato na si Bongbong Marcos," he said.
Castro said many employees will lose their jobs if the bill will be enacted into law.
The PCGG is created in February 1986 under the leadership of then President Corazon Aquino.
The creation of the agency is considered the first official act of the revolutionary government against the Marcoses after the People Power Revolution. (SunStar Philippines)