For victims, it’s good riddance to PCGG


MANILA, Philippines—The expected demise of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) will not be met with any sorrow by the almost 10,000 Filipino human-rights victims abused during Ferdinand E. Marcos’s martial rule, their lawyers said.

“The PCGG and the Republic itself —not the Marcoses—have been the greatest obstacles to collection of their historic $2 billion against the estate of Ferdinand E. Marcos,” American human rights lawyer Robert Swift and his Filipino counterpart, Rod Domingo Jr., said in a joint statement.

They noted that by the PCGG’s own calculation, it has spent more than $10 million in attorney’s fees and costs opposing the class collection suit of the Filipino human rights victims.

“So far, it has nothing to show for this opposition except the enmity of its own people and the verdict of the United Nations Human Rights Committee holding, in 2006, that the Republic violated the international human rights of the class,” they said.

Swift, lead counsel of the rights victims, recalled that he approached every chair of the PCGG since its establishment proposing that they work together to recover the Marcos assets.

“Instead of opposing each other, we could have shared information, resources and costs. But the wisdom of this approach escaped these bright and learned men,” the American lawyer said.

Swift noted that even today, there is $85 million under foreign court control which is being contested by the PCGG and the 10,000 claimants.

“Administrations change but government lives on. Not so with the victims of human rights abuses. They grow old, become sick, lack medicines and die, often in poverty,” he said.

Domingo, Swift’s Philippine counterpart, said the PCGG served a valid purpose at one point.

“But over time it became politicized by some of its members who focused more on their own personal interests, not the best interests of the country. And certainly not the best interest of the abused Marcos victims of human rights,” he said.

“Only the intervention of President Aquino can put an end to the conflicting interests of the government and the victims of human rights abuses. The recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses must continue, but more intensely,” Domingo said.

He said the position of the human right victims was summarized in Swift’s July 15, 2010, letter to President Aquino, but the latter has not responded up to now.

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  • WoBushi

    As always when it comes to money, the Filipino mind is inscrutable; mutual coexistence is unknown in their vocabulary. hehehe  PCGG has outlived itself; its purpose for being has expired. PCGG has relegated itself into a mere battle cry for the Aquinos to recycle come every elections to ward off the Marcoses and their followers from the corridors of power. hehehe  Reverse discrimination? hehehe
     As to their innermost motive, the Aquino’s have something different in mind from the alleged thousands of human right victims. The Aquinos after all are both political and human rights victims. The thousands of human rights victims have preferred stocks so to speak, and so they don’t possess voting rights. PCGG has both preferred and common stocks so to speak, and so they have preemptive rights. hehehe  As usual, greed and over-zealousness deviate from the main objective.

    Now what? hehehe Regardless, it’s election time again. Back to paragraph 1. hehehe

  • catmanjohn

    So typical of Gloria Arroyo’s devious schemes to fool the People, it does not surprise anyone that such an obstacle was created, in the name of good governance, to do just the opposite.

    • GaggerAlert

      In case you’re sleeping during your history lesson. Please read the following: “After the People Power Revolution of 1986, Pres. Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order No. 1 on February 28, 1986, thereby making the creation of the PCGG, the first official act of the revolutionary government.[1] (It is significant to note that, at the time of its creation, then Pres. Aquino was in full possession of both executive and legislative powers.)
      While the PCGG was, for 21 years, traditionally under the supervision and control of the Office of the President, this institutional setup was changed when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyoissued Executive Order No. 643 on July 27, 2007, placing the PCGG under the administrative supervision of the Department of Justice”

      Note that Cory controlled the executive and legislative, so PCGG was under her. Now, Arroyo moved it to the DOJ. Between the two of them, who has more power over this group while in office? Its a no brainer question really… do you have that if I may ask?

      Time and time again. People like to talk sh*t but have no effing clue what they are talking about. I don’t know if you’re one of those people. Those type of people who has information in front of them, but are too LAZY to search for it. Damnit, during our time, we have to search books or other reading materials just to collate this type of info. Now, a simple google search would do it. 

      Sometimes its not the computer thats the problem. It would be the interface between the chair and the keyboard that has the issue.

      • catmanjohn

        Wasting time on pedantic issues does not change the fact that Gloria Arroyo was a devious crook who betrayed the Nation’s progress for her and her cronies greedy interests. No apologies, old boy.

      • GaggerAlert

        Oh really. Now tell me, where the heck is gloria even mentioned in this article? Are you just putting in GMA, for the heck of it? Where’s the sense in that.

        FYI, mainstream internet has only boomed in the last decade. So chances are, I’m not old since in the 90’s research was done using textbook, not google hits.

        So, next time, better think before you type. It doesn’t hurt to think a little you know.

        Putting in your opinion is one thing, but when you’re opinion isn’t remotely related to the topic, with the intention to flaimbait is really doing something in a bad taste..

      • catmanjohn

        Your academic excuses is just another form of denial by those who have directly or indirectly benefited from the corruption of the Arroyos, Estradas, Marcoses, and their cronies. This article is not a legal case, and even if Arroyo was not mentioned in this particular article, it was mentioned in others that exposed her crafty designs to cripple the impact of such policies of the PCGG to protect her cronies, including the Marcoses. Deceit, like your intellectual BS, has misled the Nation for too long, and the staggering poverty, coupled with the magnitude of greed by the corrupt, is inexcusable and ultimately detrimental to the good of the Nation. The suffering of the poor in the Philippines is something out of a Victor Hugo novel, for I have witnessed it myself. With all the natural cataclysms occurring, more people will be forced into that life. Since you’re a smart a$$ lackey, how many earthquake/typhoon disaster centers did Arroyo build for the Nation that meets modern standards, in the form of schools, hospitals, gyms, government centers?…. the answer, NOT ENOUGH. Proof is in the last few storms that hit the PH. Now how many millions of dollars of Arroyos ill gotten money are sitting idle n foreign banks that could be used to build those public shelters and spurn the economy development?… TOO MUCH. Anyone who supports this kind of nonsense is deprived of brains, but more important, a conscience. You will need it, when you face the inevitable.

      • GaggerAlert

        Again I ask you, what does this relate to Arroyo.

        Again, are you just posting something that’s not even related to the topic (i.e Arroryo), just for the heck of it to garner some likes.

        With regards to some of your issue, could you ask you’re good ‘ol President why he stopped the planned flood controls that should’ve been in there in the first place? Discrepancies you may say, but where are the evidences of this? And what has he done to have some sort of replacement?

        You mentioned the names of past admins, but you failed to mention Aquino who started this PCGG. Now who sounds a bit one sided huh?

  • Fulpol

    Swift, the legal counsel already earned his millions.. and still wanted more..

  • Fulpol

    PCCG is becoming a source of corrupt money…

    abolish it..

  • opinyonlangpo

    Twenty seven years to go after ill gotten wealth of one president, amazing. Ten thousand $$$ victims, unbelievable. Thats more than eight million pesos each. Anyways, that will be good for the economy and I might as well benefit from it.

  • disqusted0fu

    Pnoy’s family allegedly have ill gotten wealth of their own. He is probably worried that the same thing might happen to him if he intervenes in this.

  • lliam_S

    For those who are reading this column, take a moment to read the argument going on below. It’s fun actually. Although I have to side with the other guy named “gagger alert”. haha..peace..

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