PNoy urged to tap PCGG to probe GMA

December 13, 2010





President Benigno Aquino III’s legal adviser has urged him to look into his late mother’s first executive order (EO) to address perceived defects in his first EO.

Retired Justice Magdangal Elma, presidential adviser for special concerns, is recommending the transfer of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) from the Department of Justice to the Office of the President.

She wants Aquino to direct the PCGG to investigate cases of graft and corruption under the Arroyo administration.

“The PCGG has more extensive powers to investigate, file and/or prosecute graft and corruption cases under EO No. 1, series of 1986, than the Philippine Truth Commission under EO 1, series of 2010, and that the PCGG’s powers had been recognized and/or settled in a number of cases decided by the Supreme Court,” she said.

Elma cited Section 2(b) of then-President Corazon Aquino’s EO 1, series of 1986, that allows the chief executive to assign cases of graft of corruption to the PCGG for investigation “from time to time,” aside from its task of recovering all ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.

She added that the said EO is a law, having been issued by Aquino when she was still exercising legislative powers under the provisional or “freedom constitution.”

Elma pointed out the EO has not been repealed, and that funds are appropriated for the agency annually.

She cited a Supreme Court decision in Cojuangco, Jr vs PCGG et al, GR 92319-20, October 20, 1990, that states:

“Upon the creation of the PCGG under Executive Order No. 1 issued by President Aquino, the PCGG was charged with the task of assisting the President not only in the recovery of ill-gotten wealth or unexplained wealth accumulated by the former President, his immediate family, relatives, subordinates and close associates but also in the investigation of such cases of graft and corruption as the President may assign to the Commission from time to time and o prevent a repetition of the same in the future.”

Elma served as PCGG chairperson under the Estrada administration.







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