Friday, July 23, 2010

De Lima urges Aquino to replace whole PCGG board

MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has asked President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III to replace the whole board of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

De Lima said all of the PCGG commissioners have to be replaced to allow the agency to enforce a new approach in going after the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family.

She added that having the whole PCGG board replaced sends a message to the people that there is an "urgency to resolve" the issues hounding the agency.

She said the new board should be conscious of the need to wrap up its task. She said that the PCGG should have already completed its work as it has already been 24 years since it was created.

The justice secretary recently prevented PCGG Commissioner Ricardo Abcede from taking over the leadership of PCGG after the resignation of its chairman, Camilo Sabio, on June 30.

In a July 14 memo, Abcede said he was taking over as officer-in-charge of PCGG until a new chairman is appointed by Malacañang.

De Lima said that Abcede could not sit as chairman because the Department of Justice (DOJ), which has jurisdiction over the PCGG, was still in the process of choosing who among the current commissioners should replace Sabio.

Dancing with Imelda

Abcede had faced criticisms for allowing himself to be associated with members of the Marcos family.

At his birthday party in 2006, when a settlement with the Marcoses was also in the works, Abcede sang and danced with former First Lady Imelda Marcos.

Abcede had said he was just "being amicable."

"I am just being amicable to them. How can we have room for settlement if we are not amicable?" he said.

Abcede also recently said that a final deal with the Marcoses was in the works.

Mrs. Marcos, however, denied they have plans of negotiating with the government because she believes they will be cleared of the charges filed against them.

She said most of the cases filed in the Philippines and US to recover the Marcos family's alleged ill-gotten wealth have been dismissed.

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