MANILA, Philippines – Shortly after the ouster of former president Ferdinand Marcos via a peaceful People Power uprising, newly-installed president Corazon Aquino set to reclaim his ill-gotten wealth.
Within the first week of her administration in February 1986, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 1, creating the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). It was tasked to recover ill-gotten wealth amassed by Marcos, his family, close associates, and his cronies.
On Sunday, February 28, the PCGG marks its 30th year. As it prepares to recover and privatize the remaining ill-gotten assets and funds of the Marcoses, here are some figures related to the PCGG and the work it's done in the past 3 decades.
14 – PCGG chairmen and acting chairmen since 1986
Former senator Jovito Salonga was appointed the first chairman of the agency. Among those who had also taken the helm were Magtanggol C. Gunigundo (father and namesake of the Valenzuela City representative) from 1992 to 1998, Haydee Yorac (2001-2005), Camilo Sabio (2005-2010), and current Commission on Elections (Comelec) chief Andres Bautista (2010-2015).
Currently heading the agency is lawyer Richard Roger Amurao, who had been a commissioner of the agency since October 2010. He was appointed acting chairman in May 2015, following Bautista's transfer to the Comelec.
49 – PCGG commissioners since 1986
Some of the former PCGG commissioners are Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor (from 1990-1992), Sandiganbayan associate justice Alexander Gesmundo (1998-2001), former Commission on Audit chairperson Ma. Gracia Pulido-Tan (2002-2003), and Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Gerard Mosquera (2010-2012).
The 3 PCGG commissioners currently in office are Vicente Gengos Jr, Ronald Chua, and Andrew Felix Arsenio de Castro.
P170.45 billion – total amount recovered so far by PCGG
The PCGG said it has recovered P170,447,347,523.52 (or $3.6 billion) from 1986 to December 2015. (READ: Recovering Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth: After 30 years, what?)
From January to December 2015 alone, it has remitted P14 billion – to be exact, P14,024,344,859.63 (nearly $300 million) – to the Bureau of the Treasury. This amount includes, among others:
P78.1 billion – funds remitted so far to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)
Under Section 63(b) of Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, among the sources of funds for CARP are receipts from assets recovered and from sales of ill-gotten wealth recovered through the PCGG.
From 1987 to 2015, the PCGG has remitted a total of P78,100,452,956.90 to the Bureau of the Treasury for the CARP account.
The agency said these were used to implement various projects such as the construction of farm-to-market roads and irrigation and post-harvest facilities, as well as for rural electrification, scholarships, and farmer organizations.
The PCGG has also recovered and transferred 1,650 hectares of agricultural land in Cavite and Laguna, plus 1,407 hectares of land in Biliran. All have been distributed to farmer beneficiaries in the respective provinces.
P10 billion – funds, from Swiss bank accounts, set aside for the reparation of Martial Law victims
This is in accordance with Section 7 of Republic Act 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation Act, signed by President Benigno Aquino III in 2013. The amount will cover around 10,000 victims of human rights violations during the Martial Law years up until 1986.
The fund, plus accrued interest, is part of the amount recovered from Swiss bank accounts, deemed as the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth, and transferred to the Philippine government through the PCGG in 2003.
P93.748 billion – coco levy assets identified and accounted for
In March 2015, the PCGG created an inter-agency committee for the inventory and accounting of coco levy assets. The coco levy originated in the 1970s when Marcos decided to tax coconut farmers, promising them that the funds would be used to develop the coconut industry. (READ: Search for Marcos' wealth: Compromising with cronies)
In a report to President Aquino in June 2015, the PCGG said it had identified an estimated P93.748 billion (nearly $2 billion) worth of coco levy assets. It added that the inventory would need to undergo validation by the Commission on Audit.
The amount already includes the P74.709-billion ($1.57-billion) cash remittance to the Bureau of the Treasury as of June 18, 2015, which represents the cash redemption value of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) shares plus dividends and interests earned.
These funds will be earmarked “only for the ultimate benefit of millions of our coconut farmers nationwide and for the development of the coconut industry,” said the PCGG.
22 – real properties already privatized by PCGG here and abroad
Between 1994 and 2015, the PCGG has sold 3 real properties in the US and 19 real properties in the Philippines.
The 3 US properties, which were under the name of businessman Antonio Floirendo, who entered into a compromise deal with the PCGG in 1987, are:
Meanwhile, many of the properties in the Philippines had been the ones surrendered by Jose Y. Campos, a Chinese-Filipino businessman who was the first to negotiate a compromise deal with the government. These properties have a combined value of over P2.5 billion ($52.5 million), said the PCGG.
It has also sold the dzMZ-FM radio station, and shares of stock from various corporations, including Meralco, PLDT, A. Soriano Corp (Anscor), Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company, and Philippine Telecommunication Investment Corp (PTIC).
As of January 2016, the PCGG is due to privatize 15 surrendered or recovered real estate properties, 7 of which are already up for auction or public bidding:
This is in addition to the sale of many more shares of stock, the auction of the Hawaii jewelry collection consficated from the Marcoses, and the privatization of IBC-13 television network.
19 – pending civil cases before the Sandiganbayan versus Marcos and his cronies
The PCGG is aiming to recover illegal assets worth P32 billion ($673 million) through 19 civil cases that are still pending before the Sandiganbayan as of December 2015:
The PCGG attributed the delays to the "slow grind of the justice system, coupled by dilatory tactics employed by the defendants." Government lawyers, though tireless in recovering the assets, have also been overworked, the agency said.
But, the PCGG noted that they are starting to make progress, crediting "patience and perseverance, a renewed vigor in pursuing the cases, and the full support of the Office of the Solicitor General." – Rappler.com
*$1 = P47.51
Michael Bueza is a researcher and data curator under Rappler's Research Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.