Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jose Crispin "Boying" Remulla on Thursday (July 28) said that he wants to expand the functions of the Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG) to not just recover the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses, but also to seize assets from the non-payment of taxes, drug trafficking, graft and corruption, and others.
“We don’t really want to abolish PCGG and I have suggested that we create an asset forfeiture office for those whose assets are seized by government for non-payment of taxes, for drug trafficking, or for other crimes,” Remulla said in a speech before the Rotary Club of Manila.
He said that the plan for the PCGG under the Marcos administration is to finish off collecting the remaining P125 billion unseized ill-gotten wealth, and create under it an “asset forfeiture office,” as the government cannot spend much of its time going after the Marcoses.
“I don’t think we need to spend the next hundred years running after the Marcoses. I don’t think it’s going to be that way, might as well make good of something that’s there already, so shift the mandate to something more useful for the country and more urgent,” Remulla said.
“We have to have a central body so that we know how much we really get for the country from the proceeds of crimes that we are forfeiting in favor of the government and of the people,” he added.
Remulla revealed that this plan for the PCGG was a product of discussions within the justice department as to what its functions might be given that the prime mandate of the good governance commission was specifically to recover the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth, who is now the country’s top executive.
He said that since the agency’s asset management system would be useful “so that the other assets forfeited by the government will have a management system,” and that this plan will not dilute PCGG’s mandate.
“Naturally, 36 years after, it is dwindling, it will not increase, it will decrease, that’s the natural course,” Remulla said.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.
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