Friday, July 10, 2009


Every now and then, the government embarks on a crusade to catch a "big fish." Well, it need not go too far, for right under its 'ilong' - gated nose is one that would make a butanding look like a butete. Matter of fact, not only is it Leviathan-like, it's also an octopus with Hoover-like suctions, tentacles and all. I am pertaining to the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), a misnomer of course, because what it clearly shows is bad governance. By all means, the administration must begin a no-nonsense investigation of this tarnished agency with its officials since its creation by former President Corazon Aquino a few days after she rose to power in 1986.

The full-scale probe will clear up all tales and speculations about the so-called Marcos wealth and expose grand-scale looting of the riches of the Marcoses and their cronies - by Aquino favorites appointed to the PCGG. This must also include other PCGG officials appointed by succeeding presidents from Fidel Ramos to Joseph Estrada, and now with the biggest tentacles of them all under Gloria Arroyo. These officials are reported to be living it up in silent contented opulence from the hundreds of millions they plundered in their short stints in the PCGG. Included in the batch of post-EDSA crooks are members of the notorious Kamaganak Inc., who were among the first to venture grabbing the wealth of the Marcos family and company. Today, a new Kamaganak Inc. II has emerged as a more vicious bottomless pit, making the other past loots look like loose change. In the past, the Sandiganbayan had ordered Malacanang to require the PCGG to submit a thorough and honest report on its activities since its creation, and make a public accounting of the Marcos assets it had accumulated, and how they were disposed of. Also, what offices and banks they were deposited in and who were the individuals responsible for administering them.

Many former PCGG officials - and also the present top officials, including minor liquidating officers in the Marcos firms, are now living bountiful lives with enough illegally-acquired wealth to last them more than three lifetimes. I know of several Marcos cronies who escaped persecution and sequestration of their assets by simply handing over half of these assets to well-placed relatives who are lawyers. One such relative cornered most of the wealth of former Ambassador Benjamin 'Kokoy' Romualdez in a lightning raid on such firms a few weeks after EDSA. This relative has passed away and his loot has been distributed to his heirs, who still cling to them and enjoy its fruits.

No less than Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. had admitted to having $500 million in deposits in Swiss banks, 75 percent of which the Marcos family was willing to give back to the country, and keep 25 percent for themselves. But he insisted that this amount was not stolen from the coffers of the country, but instead was earned and saved legitimately by their family through the late President Marcos' legal practice and business investments. Bongbong speaks the truth here, and documents will prove such.

Today, the PCGG continues to exist in the dark alleys of the powers that be, with shady characters running it. It is therefore inevitable that it now comes out in the open - towards the light, and tell the public once and for all what has become of all the wealth it had sequestered. It's high time they live up to its name - especially the last two words.
What say you, Ric Abcede?

No comments: