MANILA — House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday welcomed President Duterte’s announcement that the Marcos family is willing to return part of their alleged ill-gotten wealth to the Philippine government while expressing hope that they hand it over in its entirety.
“Well, magandang development yan, ano? Pero sana yung ‘wag sana yung kapiraso lang, sana yung buo na,” Alvarez said in an ambush interview when asked for a reaction on the purported proposal of the Marcoses.
Alvarez took a swipe at the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) for its failure to pursue and determine the full amount of Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth.
“Yun nga ang problema ng PCGG. Hanggang ngayon eh.. andami pa ring kaso na walang nangyayari eh. At in fact ako ay nag-file din (ako) ng bill ay yung PCGG ay gawin nang sa ilalim nung Office of the Solicitor General, para may mangyari naman,” Alvarez said.
Earlier, Alvarez, together with Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and House justice panel chairman Reynaldo Umali, has filed House Bill 5233 seeking to abolish the PCGG and Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) and transfer all its authorities and responsibilities to the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).
The bill, which will become the OSG charter, proposes to authorize the solicitor general to grant immunity from criminal prosecution to any person who provides information or testifies in any investigation previously conducted by the PCGG or future cases investigated by the OSG involving ill-gotten wealth.
President Duterte, during his speech after the mass oath-taking of newly-appointed government officials in Malacañang, said that the Marcos family is willing to “open everything” and “return” to the government some wealth in question, including a few gold bars.
“The Marcoses — I will not name the spokesman — sabi nila na they’ll open everything and probably return ‘yung nakita lang,” Duterte said.
“Sabi nila na, ‘malaki ang deficit mo sa… maybe this year, ang projected deficit spending would be big,’ sabi niya. Baka makatulong. Pero hindi ito malaki,” he added.
The President likewise said that an explanation was given by the Marcoses for the wealth in question and that he was accepting it.
“And the only reason really was sabi nila, that the father was protecting the economy. Now, of course, the eventual kung maalis siya. But he was thought of regaining the Malacañan and that is why ganito ang lumabas. Parang naitago,” he said.
“I will accept the explanation, whether or not it is true, wala na eh. And they are ready to return. How much, they would give me an accounting,” Duterte said.