Progressive group urges to veto bill creating Office of the Solicitor General Charter

By Baretang Bikolnon Staff

Progressive group in Eastern Visayas urges to veto House Bill 7376 which led to the abolition of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), the agency tasked with recovering ill-gotten wealth of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his family.

BAYAN-Eastern Visayas strongly condemns this latest step by the national legislature and demand that such a bill be vetoed and stricken down by the President. “In order to prove that such a decision wasn’t of his own work, he must block the piece of legislation from becoming law,” the progressive group added in a statement.

Only by doing this, according to the progressive group, can President Rodrigo Duterte prove that he is for justice and public interest, otherwise the people of Eastern Visayas will take it as an insult to the already suffering locals of Sag-od and will hold the President accountable for taking steps that encourage historical revisionism and impunity.

Former President Corazon Aquino created the quasi-judicial agency PCGG to recover the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses on February 28, 1986.

However, House Bill 7376 or the “Office of the Solicitor General Charter” transfers the reacquisition of Marcos’ illegal riches at the hands of the Office of the Solicitor General with a vote 162 – 10 on third and final reading in the House of the Representatives.

“For the victims of Martial Law, this comes as a low blow especially here in Eastern Visayas where one of the most internationally notorious massacres took place in a small barangay in Las Navas town, Northern Samar called Sag-od. The mass murder was commissioned by no less than the administration’s Defense Minister at the time, Juan Ponce Enrile who owned a large logging firm operating in the province,” BAYAN-Eastern Visayas said in a statement.

According to the progressive group, the military forces involved in the killing spate were initially tasked to protect Enrile’s logging operations but were convinced that the barrio folk were part of subversive groups. 45 people were killed while only 13 survived, 5 among whom were just children.

In 2017, Enriquita Obin who chaired the Justice for Sag-od Massacre Victims Movement expressed her earnest demand that the victims’ historic plight over the infamous Sag-od massacre be addressed by the government.

“Obin, who is not part of the current HRVCB list, is now compelled to place her share of the reparations’ future to the Solicitor General, Jose Calida, a man who has campaigned side by side with the Marcos camp in the 2016 Presidential Elections,” BAYAN-Eastern Visayas stated.

“The Duterte-led supermajority in Congress has practically shoved off the shelf all hope for the victims to receive compensation promised by the state years ago. The abolition of the PCGG, though in itself was not a guarantee for justice, is tantamount to the administration’s implied declaration that it has no time for the decades-worth of impunity forcibly placed on the shoulders of the dictatorship’s victims,” BAYAN-Eastern Visayas added. (BaretangBikolnon.com)

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