MANILA — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday expressed support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-corruption campaign, stressing his proposal to strengthen the mandate of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).
Aguirre made the statement in response to the President’s plan to form an anti-graft commission.
“I will support whatever the President decides on this matter. Effectively waging the war against corruption is one of the campaign promises of the President. It is also one of his mandates to me when I was appointed to the Justice Department,” Aguirre said in a statement.
“If consulted, I will also present to the President the possibility of utilizing the Presidential Commission on Good Government or PCGG as a viable alternative to the plan,” he explained.
He said the President can appoint a regular Chairperson and two more PCGG commissioners to complete the complement of five commissioners.
“He can then assign one commissioner to handle the investigation of corruption committed by his appointees and the other one to handle negotiations with the Marcoses if so warranted. This is pursuant to PCGG’s mandate no. 2 in Executive Order No. 1,” said Aguirre.
The PCGG is an attached agency of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“What makes this a viable alternative is that the PCGG is already under the Office of the President as part of the Executive Branch. That will be our suggestion, if consulted. However, allow me to reiterate that I will support the President whatever his decisions may be on this matter,” Aguirre stressed.
President Duterte earlier said the Marcos family is willing to return a part of their ill-gotten wealth, the search for which was the reason behind the PCGG’s creation during the term of former president Corazon Aquino.
Aguirre was asked to comment on the process if the Marcos family opts to return part of their wealth to the government.
“Basta magagawa yan under the framework of the law. He’s (President Duterte) authorized or he has the power to make compromises, so any agreement with the Marcoses, but I believe this has been addressed by the past administration kaya’t siguro kung merong new agreement, dapat merong enabling law or initiative law or regulations to be issued by the President himself,” he said.