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ABANTE BACKS ABOLITION OF PCGG

The end of the  Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) is not the end of government efforts to recover ill-gotten wealth.

This is according to Manila 6th District Rep. Benny Abante Jr., who in a television interview on Monday stressed that the functions of the PCGG would be taken over by agencies already mandated to perform similar functions.

House Bill No. 4331, authored by Abante, states in Section 2 that “the powers and functions of investigations and prosecution of criminals exercised by the PCGG shall be transferred to the Department of Justice (DOJ).”

“We are abolishing the agency,” said Abante, “but we will be retaining its functions. Government, through other existing agencies, will continue to go after plundered wealth; it will continue to seize assets acquired via corruption; it will continue to prosecute cases of corruption, and it will continue to dispose of ill-gotten assets.”

“It is not a matter of dropping the pursuit of ill-gotten wealth; it is a matter of doing it efficiently. We can continue to do this while conserving our financial resources, which is what the times demand.”

House Bill No. 4331, authored by Abante, states in Section 2 that “the powers and functions of investigations and prosecution of criminals exercised by the PCGG shall be transferred to the Department of Justice (DOJ).”

The same section also states that civil cases involving the management, administration, and disposition of the assets, as well as the sequestration of the properties considered to be ill-gotten vested in the PCGG shall be exercised by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel.

Section 3 of the measure, on the other hand, states that “the management and disposition of the assets and properties vested in the PCGG shall be transferred to, and shall be exercised by the Department of Finance through its Privatization Office.”

Asked about the possibility that the transfer of the PCGG’s functions to the DOJ and DOF would overburden the agencies, Abante said he was more concerned about the redundancies caused by the overlapping of agency functions.

“Sa akin, may overlapping pag may PCGG, kasi mandate talaga yan ng DOJ and DOF, so they can do the work. Why let the PCGG still do it after 36 years?”

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