PCGG Chairman Andres Bautista lauded the efforts of the New York District Attorney’s Office in indicting Ms. Vilma H. Bautista, the social secretary and confidante of former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos, and her two nephews. Ms. Bautista was arrested and arraigned on November 20 in New York City.
The indictment charged that Ms. Bautista and her nephews with illegally conspiring to possess and sell valuable paintings they did not own, and thereafter keeping the proceeds for themselves, and hiding the said proceeds from tax authorities.
The investigation was commenced when the NYDA were apprised of the suspicious sale of a water lilies painting by Claude Monet in late 2010 by Ms. Bautista and her co-defendants.
The NYDA thereafter contacted the PCGG as there appeared to have been other attempts by the defendants and their associates to sell other paintings publicly known to be missing since 1986 and claimed by the Republic as ill-gotten wealth. The PCGG has been cooperating with the NYDA investigation since mid-2011.
In July 2011, aside from bank accounts containing tens of millions of dollars, the authorities in New York seized three paintings of internationally significant value from Ms. Bautista and her relatives: (1) Claude Monet’s L’Eglise at la Siene a Veuthevil; (2) Albert Marquet’s Le Cyprès de Djenan Sidi Saïd; and (3) Alfred Sisley’s Langland Bay. These paintings are all included in the PCGG’s Missing Paintings list, and have been recorded with Art Loss Register, the world’s largest private database of lost and stolen art.
“This criminal trial in New York will serve an important pedagogical purpose as it would highlight the point that ‘crime does not pay’ and eventually the long arm of the law will catch up with you, Chairman Bautista remarked. “Our cooperation with the NYDA’s investigation reflects the Commission’s determination to pursue its mandate for as long as we have such mandate. This also highlights President Aquino’s unrelenting crusade against graft and corruption.”
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5 October 2012
PCGG Remits PhP56.5 billion to National Treasury
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) today remitted PhP56.5 Billion to the National Treasury after San Miguel Corporation exercised its option to redeem 753,848,312 Series 1 Preferred Shares.
Chairman Andres D. Bautista observed that this amount constitutes the largest single recovery of the PCGG to date. Along with the escrowed dividend payments and accrued interest which total an additional PhP13.44 Billion, these monies are to be used “only for the benefit of all the coconut farmers and for the development of the coconut industry.”
On 24 January 2012, the Supreme Court, in an 11-0 decision, adjudged this CIIF block of shares as having been purchased by means of the coconut levy funds and therefore to be treated as public funds. On 04 September 2012, the Supreme Court unanimously denied the Motion for Reconsideration filed by COCOFED.
“The plight of our coconut farmers has long haunted our country. We trust that this recovery will be used to ease their burdens in a concrete and significant manner” Bautista added.
This report provides a summary of the issues and challenges which the Commission continues to confront and tackle in pursuit of its primary mandate(s) to return to the public treasury ill-gotten wealth accumulated during the time of former President Marcos and to propose safeguards to prevent the occurrence of corruption. Highlights of the report include brief discussions on the following:
- 2011 remittances and 2012 projections
- Performance highlights of surrendered/sequestered corporations
- Privatization efforts
- Significant milestones in the Commission’s cases
- 25th Anniversary activities
This Milestone Report seeks to serve as a succinct accounting of the Commission’s activities in the last 20 months and its endeavors to carry out its mandate of helping promote the ART (Accountability, Responsibility and Transparency) of good government.
To view the report, please click on the link below:
PCGG Milestone Report
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) today supported the decision of the New York State’s highest court that dismissed the claim by human rights victims against the $35 Million Marcos assets deposited with Merrill Lynch New York. This decision comes on the heels of our own Supreme Court’s ruling barely 2 months ago. “It is plain that the New York Court took note of our High Court declaration that these were sovereign assets,” PCGG Chairman Andres D. Bautista observed.
Bautista said the decision of the US Court is correct because the $35 Million assets are ill-gotten and therefore belong to the Republic of the Philippines. “These assets were improperly obtained by Marcos through gross misuse of public office and in grave betrayal of the public trust and therefore forfeited from the moment of misappropriation.”
Bautista is hopeful that the Republic will now be able to enforce the decision and return the money back to the Philippines to be used for the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and the Human Rights Victims’ compensation bill.
Bautista again emphasized that the Government is not against the compensation of human rights victims who suffered during Martial Law but said that payment of compensation should go through the proper legislative process. “This is why the Commission fully supports the passage of the Human Rights Compensation Act by Congress which will pave the way to compensate the human rights victims,” he added.
The $35 Million Marcos assets began from an original $2 Million registered in the name of Arelma Foundation, a Panamanian firm used by the Marcos family and deposited with Merrill Lynch Securities in New York in 1972, which when discovered by PCGG in 2000 had already grown to about $35 Million.
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) is dismayed with the recent Sandiganbayan decision dismissing the Republic’s case against Mr. Lucio Tan, a well-known Marcos crony and ally.
The PCGG believes that it has presented overwhelming evidence against the business tycoon which includes, among others, the judicial admissions of Imelda Marcos confirming the 60-40 Ferdinand Marcos-Lucio Tan business arrangement kept under wraps by layers after layers of corporations; the testimony of Senator Ferdinand ‘Bong-Bong” Marcos, Jr. who confirmed their family’s financial relationship with Lucio Tan; and the testimony of former PCGG Chairman Jovito Salonga on Lucio Tan’s offer of compromise which was flatly rejected by the Cory government. He likewise identified Rolando Gapud’s affidavit narrating in detail the Marcos-Lucio Tan 60-40 business partnership. The Sandiganbayan also failed to take into consideration the concessions made in favor of Lucio Tan during his takeover of General Bank and Trust Company (now Allied Bank). The decision could not have come at a worse time when there are valid issues arising from the proposed merger of Allied Bank with the Philippine National Bank.
Aside from these, the Sandiganbayan failed to give weight on a number of pieces of evidence, especially the offer of compromise personally written in June 1987 by Lucio Tan to then President Corazon C. Aquino. There were also numerous letter-requests, all authenticated and identified by its record custodian, showing Marcos’ hand and involvement in Lucio Tan’s various businesses. These notwithstanding, the Sandiganbayan completely ignored these crucial and vital pieces of evidence.
Currently, the PCGG and the Office of the Solicitor General are studying the Republic’s legal options in light of the recent ruling. Among the options being considered is the filing of a Motion for Reconsideration or a direct appeal before the Supreme Court. The PCGG is hopeful that despite this temporary setback, with the change in leadership in the judiciary, ill-gotten wealth cases such as the Lucio Tan case will be justly resolved in favor of the government.
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) invites interested parties to bid for the lease of the Ground Floor of the People’s Center and Library with a floor area of 1,365 sq. m. located at Real Street, Tacloban City for a period of 124 days with the following schedule:
Minimum Bid Price
|Summer Bazaar Trade ExhibitMay 10, 2013 to July 10, 2013 (62 days)
|Christmas Bazaar Trade ExhibitNovember 10, 2013 to January 10, 2014 (62 days)
Bidding guidelines are available for a non-refundable fee of PhP500.00 on March 20, 2013 at the PCGG Asset Management Department, 3rd Floor, IRC Building, 82 EDSA Mandaluyong City and the PCGG Regional Office in Nipa Hut, Jones Street, Tacloban City. For inquiries, please contact Ms. Donette Ordoyo at Telephone Nos. 725-6958 and 907-9127, or Mr. Renor Dauag at Telephone Nos. (053) 321-3450.
Submission and opening of bids will be on April 3, 2013 at 10:00 a.m., Yorac Room, Ground Floor, IRC Building, 82 EDSA, Mandaluyong City. In the event of a failed bidding, PCGG reserves the right to accept offers for a negotiated lease.
BIDS AND AWARDS COMMITTEE