SolGen ready to pursue case on Marcos ill-gotten wealth

MANILA — Solicitor General Jose Calida on Wednesday said that he is ready to pursue cases against the Marcoses, as being pushed in the House of Representatives, despite supporting former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the vice presidential elections last year.

“I am now a government official. The elections [last year] has no more bearing on my duty as a government official so it doesn’t matter to me,” Calida said when sought for a comment in response to the filing of House Bill 5233 by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that would include running after the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses in the functions of the Office of the Solicitor General.

It will be recalled that Calida was one of the leaders of the “Alyansang Duterte-Bongbong” that pushed for the tandem of then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Marcos for the presidential and vice presidential post.

Duterte won the election but Marcos lost to Liberal Party candidate Maria Leonor Robredo.

Calida said it is the prerogative of Congress to pass legislation adding that if the proposed measure of Alvarez is passed, he would have no recourse but to implement it.

“That is the prerogative of Congress, they enact the laws while we are the one who implement the law if it I passed. I am now a government official and the election before has no more bearing on my duty as a government official, so it doesn’t matter to me,” Calida told reporters in a chance interview.

Aside from his support for the candidacy of the younger Marcos, Calida as the solicitor general also defended the decision of Duterte to bury the remains of former dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani despite opposition from many sectors.

If passed into law, HB 5233 would not only put the office of the Presidential Commission on Good Government under the OSG but also the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel.

At present, the said agencies are under the DOJ.

The PCGG was created in 1986 in the aftermath of the EDSA People Power uprising that toppled the Marcos dictatorship with the mandate to run and recover the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and their cronies.

The agency said it was able to recover at least PHP170 billion in the ill-gotten wealth since its creation despite working on an overall budget of PHP2.9 billion over the same period.