By Mario Casayuran
Senator Richard J. Gordon said on Wednesday there was a need for government to set a deadline in the recovery of the supposed billions of pesos worth of alleged ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family.
‘’Ang tagal tagal na nyan walang nagkukumpas dapat may deadline, di pwedeng hanggat gusto nyo na lang, dapat may deadline, monitoring report quarterly,’’ Gordon said. (There is no one orchestrating the recovery cases. There should be a deadline. Acting on the Marcos cases based on a whim is a no-no. There should be a deadline, there should be a quarterly report.)
Gordon was reacting to the victory by the Marcos family of most of the alleged illegal wealth cases filed against them since the fall of the Marcos martial law regime.
The latest defeat of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) was the decision of the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the P200-billion forfeiture case against the Marcoses for lack of evidence.
Gordon said he is at present studying whether or not his Senate Blue Ribbon committee would conduct an inquiry into the many defeats of the PCGG cases against the Marcoses.
‘’We are studying right now kung dapat magconduct ng inquiry, what’s wrong dahil nung ininterview ko sila nung araw ang sabi ko sa kanila kumuha kayo magagaling na abogado, magagaling na researcher, at trabahuhin nyo yan bec although nakakakuha kayo ng mga results, mas malaki ang dapat nakukuha katulad nito natalo ang 200b ano ang gagawin nila dyan magrerecon ba sila dyan, meron ba silang bagong ebidensya na nakakalat, dapat wala na sila palitan natin tao, may silbi ang pcgg,’’ he told Senate reporters. (I remember interviewing them that they should get good lawyers and researchers to win cases. Here, they lost the P200 billion case. The PCGG, an independent body, still has its uses.)
Being a lawyer, Gordon said the PCGG should follow the paper trail with the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and other government institutions. We can retain the services of a private investigator.
He said the President should appoint an investigator to recover the alleged hidden illegal wealth who is not an ally or has an axe to grind.
Gordon said PCGG’s losses in the court ‘’brings a very bad perception of our country, ilang taon na yan, lagpas na 25 years bakit di nakkahuli.’’ (Many years have passed, some 25 years, why were no arrests?)
‘’There is P32 billion more in 19 cases in Sandiganbayan, kung makukuha yan malaking bagay yan,’’ he added. (If that can be recovered, that is a big amount.)
He said the Filipino people should be satisfied with government recovery efforts and that government should show to the people that a law breaker can get away with it.
Gordon said he doesn’t think abolishing the PCCG was a good idea.
‘’Abolishing it means you starch from scratch. Nothing good will come out of abolishing offices,’’ he added.
Gordon said ‘’recovery of the ill-gotten wealth is the responsibility of everyone, the palace can initiate but we the Senate is an independent body.’’
Asked if Senator Imee R. Marcos, daughter of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, can attend a Senate inquiry since ‘’she is a newly elected senator she can defend herself or take a position, its really up to her.’’