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Hontiveros hits House over ‘sick, cruel joke’: How can Marcos defender Calida recover ill-gotten wealth?

Tasking Solicitor General Jose Calida to recover the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family would be a “sick and cruel joke,” Senator Risa Hontiveros said Tuesday, amid a legislative proposal to expand the powers of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). 

Hontiveros said House Bill (HB) 5233 proposed by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, and House justice committee chairman Reynaldo Umali is another attempt by the Duterte government to revise history. 

“It's like letting a fox into the chicken house…How can a Marcos defender recover the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses? This is a sick and cruel joke at the expense of Martial law victims and the nation's coffers,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

“The Solicitor General has an unimpressive track record of pursuing plunderers,” she added, citing Calida’s move to acquit alleged pork scam queen Janet Lim Napoles from the illegal detention case filed by whistleblower Benhur Luy

Under HB 5233, the functions of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) will be transferred to the OSG. 

The PCGG was created in 1986 after the EDSA People Power Revolution to recover ill-gotten wealth, notably those amassed during the term of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

As of late 2016, the PCGG is dealing with more than 200 pending cases on the estimated $10-billion loot, which includes Swiss accounts, properties and assets, jewelry sets, and artworks.

Calida campaigned for Marcos’ son and namesake, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., in the 2016 elections when the latter ran for vice president. He was the head of the so-called Alyansang Duterte-Bongbong (AlDub). 

Hontiveros said the House proposal is another attempt to “cover up the tracks of the Marcoses and revise their place in history.” 

It was under the Duterte administration that former President Marcos was given a hero’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. — Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez/RSJ, GMA News