PCGG urged to make inventory of recovered assets


MANILA — A senator on Friday urged the Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG) to release a full accounting and inventory report on assets it has recovered since it was created.

“It would be too much to bear to find out that recovered assets pilloried from the state are squandered the same by the agency tasked to run after it,” Sen. Francis Escudero said in a press statement.

Escudero made this call after Malacañang announced that it would transfer the remaining functions of the PCGG to the Department of Justice (DOJ) under a bill which President Rodrigo Duterte wanted Congress to prioritize.

The PCGG was created to run after the illegally-amassed wealth of the Marcos family and their allies.

Escudero, chair of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, urged the agency to come up with a report on the value of each asset it has recovered at the time of its sequestration and its present value.

He pointed out that some well-known sequestered assets of the PCGG like paintings, jewelry, buildings and shares of stocks would show their “undue depreciation and absence or lack of due diligence in its care and preservation.”

“We want to see accountability, as with any other government institutions,” he added.

The PCGG earlier decried the plan to abolish the agency, saying they had effectively raised non-tax revenues. It claimed to have recovered at least PHP170 billion in cash over the course of 30 years with an overall budget of PHP2.9 billion for the same period.

However, in its 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) has called out the PCGG for the six paintings reported missing since in 2012 and that artworks recovered have been damaged and in a state of deterioration.

Escudero, meanwhile, expressed concern that since reports remain unanswered, the abolition of the agency may lead to the unintended consequence of hiding misdeeds committed by the agency in the past. Azer Parrocha/PNA-northboundasia.com