HISTORICAL REVISIONISM? | Ex-CHR chief slaps House bill abolishing PCGG

4 months ago

MANILA, Philippines (May 16, 2018) – Former human rights commissioner Etta Rosales warns that the proposed abolition of the Presidential Commission on Good Government might be a move to eradicate traces of institutions set up to address the crimes of former president Ferdinand Marcos.

In a statement sent to media, Rosales insists that the PCGG “is a symbol against the plunder of a dictator in the past.”

“Its significance should be kept alive in the public consciousness in order to remind later generations that under Marcos, the people fought to redeem the dignity of a democratic nation by ousting a dictator,” she furthered.

On May 15, 2018, the House of Representatives, voting 162-10, passed on the third and final reading House Bill 7376, which seeks to expand the functions of the Office of the Solicitor-General. The bill also seeks to abolish the PCGG and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel and transfer their powers to the OSG.

Rosales finds this move of the lower house as “unacceptable and should be outrightly rejected by the Senate.”

She reminds that the current Solicitor-General, Atty. Jose Calida, is a known Marcos loyalist.

“The bill thus adds insult to injury, rubs salt on the unhealed wounds of Marcos victims if it puts the duty of running after ill-gotten Marcos wealth in the hands of a blind Marcos loyalist like Calida,” she said.

According to Rosales, the bill paves the way for “consolidating despotic rule under one man, and goes against all pretensions of wanting to democratize under a federal system of rule.”

The PCGG was created through Executive Order No. 1 signed by then President Corazon Aquino on Februar 28, 2018. It is primarily tasked to recover all ill-gotten wealth accumulated by former president Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, subordinates and close associates.