Duterte appoints fellow Bedan to head PCGG

Lian Buan

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Duterte appoints fellow Bedan to head PCGG
(UPDATED) The PCGG has so far recovered P170.45 billion in ill-gotten wealth

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte appointed a fellow alumnus from the San Beda College of Law to head the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), which is tasked to recover the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family.

Lawyer John Agbayani was appointed PCGG commissioner last February 21 and took his oath of office before Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Monday, February 27.

Agbayani graduated from San Beda Law in 1978. He has experience in both the private and public sectors, working for the Social Security System (SSS) as chief of staff to former commissioner Gonzalo Duque, for the Supreme Court as technical assistant to former Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro, for the Congress as consultant, and the rest of the time working as counsels to various banks.

Agbayani will take over the PCGG which, as of December 2015, has recovered P170.45 billion in ill-gotten wealth. (READ: At 30, PCGG by the numbers)

Of this amount, P78.1 billion has been remitted to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) as required by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law.

In the past years, the Marcos family has made various efforts to block the PCGG from seizing some of their assets. 

Last April, the PCGG said that in the 20-year litigation of seizing P1.9 billion worth of funds from the Arelma bank account in Panama, it was former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr who took the lead “to prevent the early award of the Arelma funds to the Filipino people.”

The Supreme Court, in 2012, declared Arelma as part of the Marcos family’s ill-gotten wealth. 

The PCGG also cited at least 15 civil cases filed before the Sandiganbayan and Supreme Court to block the forfeiture of Marcos assets. (READ: Recovering Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth: After 30 years, what?)

Duterte has not made secret his friendly relations with the Marcoses. He pushed for and later ordered a hero’s burial for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Duterte earlier said he intends to “expand” the powers of the PCGG. – Rappler.com

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story identified the new PCGG commissioner’s surname as Bayani. It is Agbayani. We regret the error.

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.