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from beginning to nearly halfway to the end of the rainbow, past PCGG officers loot the Marcos pot of gold (2012 PCGG report here)

     The PCGG started the new year by saying it was ending.    


     (image with caption  right-clicked from : The iconic Monet Waterlily, missing;  turned up in the hands of  Imelda Marcos assistant Vilma Bautista who  was trying to sell it in New York)

  Recovery of the Marcos loot (estimated at 10 billion dollars with 4 billion retrieved) concerns all those who had to live through the dark years, and their children and children’s children.

    It concerns all of us.

    Here’s the PCGG report of 30 June 2012 (i lifted it from the PDF file in their website and put it into  a Word doc) : the report leads off with the finding that previous PCGG commissioners and their staff looted the sequestered corporations under its control and even the PCGG fund itself. (Today’s TV news images of policemen  gleefully scrambling for the contraband fireworks they had confiscated is a good visual metaphor for past PCGG commissioners named in this report).

     The report also stresses how major cases filed as early as 1986-1989 have remained pending —  some have not reached pre-trial.

      To his credit, the PCGG chair  and his staff produced a lucidly written report that could be understood by anyone  that it does not require any laymanizing. 

     The President a couple of weeks ago required the PNP to make a presentation of  the paputok  and what it was doing to curb the distribution of illegal fireworks. The remaining Marcos loot is estimated to be 6 billion dollars. Before making any hasty decision on the PCGG recommendation to wind down, surely, it is worth his time to require a PCGG presentation of the recovery effort of  the estimated remaining 6 billion dollars, open to the media and the public,  for all of us to see the quagmire that the PCGG has had to stay afloat of.

     Here it is:

“A longstanding criticism against the Commission is the apparent abuse and looting of the corporations under its care. In the early years, the so-called “fiscal agents” were notorious for taking advantage of their positions. In the years that followed, persons were appointed to these corporations, primarily, on the basis of patronage politics…” (PCGG Report, June 30, 2012)


“Most striking—as it is, consequently, most tragic—is the fact that a large number of its cases that have remained pending for more than two decades, were filed by the Commission during its first three years of existence. (In certain instances, there are cases that have yet to commence pre-trial!) These setbacks aside, earnest efforts are being undertaken in order to reach certain milestones in some of the Commission’s landmark cases. The Commission’s Legal Department has formulated a three-track strategy…. etc xxx” (supra)


(start of the report)

     “We recognize that the time will come when we shall have done all that we could. We are tying loose ends and trying still not to lose any more of what others perceive to be a lost cause. And while closure can be appreciated on different levels, we have in contemplation the concluding chapter of the Commission, in the form of legislation directing it to wind down its affairs, mindful of the fact of its other mandates under Executive Order No. 1, s. 1986.”

– Letter to His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III  6 December 2010, re: “Winding Down the Commission”


(T)he Commission submitted its “Preliminary Report to the Truth Commission xxx The most notable finding that was made public and revealed in the said Preliminary Report was the extent of the excessive travels and expenses from the fund that was set aside for litigation and administrative costs (to be) incurred in the recovery and transfer to the Republic of the ARELMA and WestLB accounts remaining from the Marcos Swiss deposits. As was found out, various employees were co-opted in order to facilitate the withdrawals and charges upon an account that was set aside during the time of then PCGG Chairperson Haydee Yorac. Since its report was made public, the Commission has been trying to fully document and liquidate the expenses that were charged against the said fund. Letters have been sent to all concerned officials and persons who, based on available records, appear to have received or were subject of disbursements from the said fund. This is the most comprehensive effort to fully liquidate and document all these disbursements. Upon completion, all the data, information, and replies gathered will be endorsed to the Commission on Audit.


In order to safeguard the integrity of purpose and nature of the said fund, and to further support the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, the Commission withdrew US$10,000,000.00 and immediately remitted the whole amount to the Bureau of the Treasury on 28 June 2012.




A. Background:  Certain sums that were disbursed to and advanced by the Commission’s past officials were not supported by appropriate liquidation requirements (e.g. reports and receipts). These sums remain outstanding and open in the books of the Commission.

B. Issue: Former Chairman Sabio’s failure to remit the sum of PhP10,350,000.00 (representing PCGG-collected deposits) to the Bureau of the Treasury is the subject of a case before the Office of the Ombudsman.

C. Status: Chairman Sabio has been arraigned and has posted bail. A hold-departure order has been issued against him. The Pre-trial was conducted on 16 April 2012 and the prosecution commenced presenting evidence on 30 May 2012.



(image and caption rightclicked from the same site; another missing Monet which Imelda Marcos assistant Vilma Bautista was caught redhanded with in New York) 


 A. Background:  In 2004, the Commission recovered the amount of US $658,175,373.60, forfeited from the Swiss deposits of former President Marcos. In connection with this matter, two cases remain pending in New York and in Singapore, representing a potential recovery of (approx.) US$60,000,000.00. Under the leadership of  then Chairperson Haydee B. Yorac, the Commission passed PCGG Resolution No. 2004-Y-002, which resolved to authorize the Philippine National Bank (PNB): “to retain five per cent (5%) of the amount recovered to cover the necessary administrative and litigation expenses in the recovery of the ARELMA account and the approximately Twenty-two Million U.S. Dollars (US$22M) still in West Landesbank in Singapore, as well as necessary expenses that may arise in relation to the Escrow Agreement.”

B.1. Issue: The amounts retained by PNB are managed by it   (i) to maximize the funds’ earnings (ii) subject to trust fees. It appears that the said fund’s income was less than competitive, despite the above-the-market trust fee rate that was being charged against the fund for its judicious management.

C.1. Status: The Commission commenced negotiations with then PNB President Eugene Acevedo resulting in an in-principle agreement being reached as to the (i) waiver of trust fees for 2012, coupled with its (ii) subsequent reduction, in order to maximize the fund’s earning potential. Despite these earlier good faith negotiations and in-principle agreements, a written Memorandum of Agreement has yet to be concluded under PNB’s new leadership. The Commission passed a Resolution directing the withdrawal from PNB of the amount of US$10,000,000.00 from the said fund. The whole amount was remitted to the Bureau of the Treasury on 28 June 2012 for utilization in the CARP.

B.2. Issue: Under its previous leadership, the Commission retained various law  firms to represent the Republic in its cases abroad.

C.2. Status: Based on an assessment of its legal needs vis-a-vis the complexity of its ongoing litigation, the Commission decided to terminate the services of some of its previously retained foreign law  firms and to request substantial discounting of previous bills, resulting in a tremendous decrease in legal costs and expenses.

C.3. Issue: Various travels charged against this fund were marked by the following characteristics: (i) unliquidated/incomplete documentation; (ii) irregularly disbursed; (iii) clearly excessive; and (iv) in some instances, ultra vires, in that it was used for travels clearly beyond the stated parameters of the fund.

C.3. Status: The Commission has issued various letters requiring the concerned officials or employees to explain and/or to accomplish the appropriate liquidation report.


A. Background: There were a number of contractual agreements and/or decisions that were made with the color of authority, but upon closer scrutiny and the exercise of due diligence, were found to be apparently disadvantageous to the government.


B.1. Issue: IBC-13’s Joint Venture Agreement: The agreement, signed on 24 March 2010, covers the property known as “Broadcast City.” The previous Commission interposed no objections, despite apparent “red flags” concerning the transaction, foremost of which are (i) the lack of review by the Privatization Council and (ii) the lack of technical review of the valuation.

C.1. Status:  The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) created a technical working group composed of PrC, COA, OGCC, PCGG, OSG, and NEDA which will review the JVA. PCOO and IBC representatives will join the members of the TWG. The 1st  TWG meeting was held on 13 January 2012, where the Commission sent a representative to observe the proceedings.

All member-government agencies were present, except for the OSG and COA (which did not participate due to a conflict of interest). Each member-agency was to give their respective comments and recommendation on the issue.

B.2. Issue: Conversion of SMC Common Shares into SMC Series 1 Preferred Shares: On 17 September 2009, as an incident in COCOFED, et al. v. Republic (G.R. Nos. 177857-58), the Supreme Court resolved to approve the conversion of the 753,848,312 SMC common shares registered in the names of CIIF companies to SMC Series 1 preferred shares.

C.2. Status: The Commission is presently coordinating with coco levy recovery groups to work out a strategy that is responsive and aligned to the interests and needs of the country’s coconut farmers.

B.3. Issue: PIMECO MOA: On 11 December 2009, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was entered into by and between PCGG, Peter Sabido, PIMECO, and Consolidated Prime Development Corporation, concerning a prime property located along C-5. On its face, the MOA appears to be grossly disadvantageous to the government.

C.3. Status: The Commission has registered a claim in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines with the Registry of Deeds of Pasig City, expressing its intent to recover the approximately PhP4.3 billion property subject of the questionable compromise agreement.

Accountability in Action: Updates


[image and caption rightclicked from the same source; an  Albert Marquet ( “Fauvist” movement led by Henri Matisse),  missing landscape also discovered in the possession  of Imelda Marcos assistant Vilma Bautista)

• Former PCGG Chairman Camilo Sabio has already been arraigned in the Sandiganbayan, for misappropriating at least PhP10.35 M, funds that should have been remitted to the Bureau of the Treasury; he has, likewise, been declared by the Office of the Ombudsman administratively liable for grave misconduct and penalized with forfeiture of retirement benefits and disqualification from holding public office.

• The former Chairman, together with (Fmr.) Commissioners Ricardo Abcede (†), Narciso Nario, and Nicasio Conti, have also been declared administratively liable by the Office of the Ombudsman, with the latter ordering the filing of criminal charges before the Sandiganbayan.


Accountability in Action: Updates

• Former PCGG Chairman Camilo Sabio has already been arraigned in the Sandiganbayan, for misappropriating at least PhP10.35 M, funds that should have been remitted to the Bureau of the Treasury; he has, likewise, been declared by the Office of the Ombudsman administratively liable for grave misconduct and penalized with forfeiture of retirement benefits and disqualification from holding public office.

• The former Chairman, together with (Fmr.) Commissioners Ricardo Abcede (†), Narciso Nario, and Nicasio Conti, have also been declared administratively liable by the Office of the Ombudsman, with the latter ordering the filing of criminal charges before the Sandiganbayan..


A longstanding criticism against the Commission is the apparent abuse and looting of the corporations under its care. In the early years, the so-called “fiscal agents” were notorious for taking advantage of their positions. In the years that followed, persons were appointed to these corporations, primarily, on the basis of patronage politics.


Banking ===== 1. United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB)

Broadcast ===== 2. Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC-13)

Clinical Research ==== 3. Chemfields, Inc.

Insurance ===== 4. United Coconut Planters Life Assurance Corporation (Cocolife)

5. UCPB General Insurance, Inc. (Cocogen)

Manufacturing/Refining ===== 6. CIIF Oil Mills Group (CIIF OMG)

Microfinance ====== 7. UCPB-CIIF Finance and Development Corporation (Cocofinance)

Oleochemica ====== l 8. United Coconut Chemicals, Inc. (Cocochem)

Telecommunications ======= 9. Philcomsat**

Real Estate ======= 10. Independent Realty Corporation (IRC)

11. Bataan Shipyard and Engineering Company (Baseco)


When the present Commission took charge, some of these corporations were either operating at a loss or were grossly mismanaged—having been peopled by appointees who lacked the managerial wherewithal, much less the dedication to look out for the interest of the Republic.


In 2011, the Commission, in coordination with the Privatization Council, undertook the bidding of the following surrendered properties:

Property Location Area Floor Price Winning Bid

1.   Wack-Wack Property, EDSA corner Berkeley St.  Barangay Wack-Wack,  Mandaluyong City 2,012 sq.m. PhP101,606,000.00 PhP127,057,239.00

2.   Hans Menzi Compound, Outlook Drive (North), Barangay Gibraltar.  Baguio City, 3,875.57 sq.m. PhP37,245,850.00 PhP93,017,555.57.

      In connection with the Wack-Wack Property, the highest bid received was P127.057 million—25% above the floor price. The notice of award was issued in favor of the highest bidder on 27 December 2011 with the approval of the Privatization Council. The Hans Menzi Compound was successfully bidded out on 24 April 2012 for PhP93,017,555.57—a bid that was 150% higher than the property’s minimum bid price of PhP37,245,850.00. The Privatization Council, on 9 May 2012, approved the PCGG’s proposal to award the sale to Comnet Management Corporation. (In the same letter, the Privatization Council approved the Commission’s proposal to undertake a rebidding for the 4,038 sq.m. Mapalad Property with a minimum bid price of PhP250,759,800.00 or PhP62,100/sq.m.)


CHECK : 24,000,000 …. 843,000,000 …. 1,662,000,000 …. 2,481,000,000 …. 3,300,000,000

Net Income

3,295,398,545 …. 2,786,260,105

Consolidated Performance 2010 2011. The consolidated Revenues increased from P26.1 billion in 2010 to P31.2 billion in 2011, this translates to a 19.5% growth rate, or P5.1 billion. Consolidated Net Income increased by P509 million, from P2.8 billion to P3.3 billion, an 18% improvement.


Most striking—as it is, consequently, most tragic—is the fact that a large number of its cases that have remained pending for more than two decades,were filed by the Commission during its first three years of existence. (In certain instances, there are cases that have yet to commence pre-trial!) These setbacks aside, earnest efforts are being undertaken in order to reach certain milestones in some of the Commission’s landmark cases. The Commission’s Legal Department has formulated a three-track strategy….

etc xxx


Background: This an action for reconveyance and recovery of ownership and possession of assets and properties acquired by defendants Lucio Tan and the spouses Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos as a result of a criminal enterprise founded on a 60-40 partnership.  Pursuant to the said illicit partnership, Mr. Marcos extended special favors and concessions, and under his special sponsorship, Mr. Tan rose from being a small businessman into one of the principal tycoons in Southeast Asia with vast holdings in tobacco, banking, livestock, transportation, real estate development and other industries.  It is the government’s position that all properties acquired pursuant to the criminal enterprise and partnership of Mr. Tan with the spouses Marcos are forfeitable and should be reconveyed to the government. In a Decision dated 11 June 2012, the Sandiganbayan dismissed the case.

Next Steps: The Commission and the Office of the Solicitor General are studying the Republic’s legal options in light of the recent ruling–among which are the “ling of a Motion for Reconsideration or a direct recourse to the Supreme Court.


Background: In its Decision of 15 July 2003, the Supreme Court ordered the forfeiture of the Swiss deposits in the estimated aggregate amount of US$658,175,373.60 (as of 31 January 2002) in favor of the Republic. (The amounts recovered from the Swiss deposits had already been remitted to the Bureau of the Treasury in 2004 and, of which, approximately PhP10 billion has been set aside to fund a bill that would provide compensation for the human rights violations victims of the Marcos regime.) Of these so-called Swiss deposits, there remain two sums of money that are presently being litigated in New York and in Singapore.



Background:  In the interpleader case filed by WestLB, the Republic did not initially intervene and asked to be impleaded only after the lower court did not approve PNB’s application for forum non conveniens. The High Court was satisfied that the Republic had established sufficient standing to apply for a stay of the proceedings but ruled that it had submitted to the court’s jurisdiction through implied waiver (notwithstanding that it had expressly declared that it was intervening solely to plead sovereign immunity). The other parties include a slew of Marcos foundations and the plaintiffs in the Hawaii class suit against the Marcos estate. This case is pending before the High Court (the lower division of the Supreme Court of Singapore) and all parties provided closing submissions on 16 January 2012. The pre-trial conference was held on 28 February 2012, but there is, as yet, no update from the Supreme Court Registry on when judgment may be released. The Republic’s lawyers anticipate that the Judge will take a few months to render his grounds of decision. Once judgment in OS 134 of 2004 is pronounced, parties have one month to file a Notice of Appeal to the Singapore  Court of Appeal (which is the upper division of the Supreme Court).




(image and caption rightclicked from the same source; one of Sisley’s missing landscape, found being lugged around New York by Imelda Marcos assistant Vilma Bautista)

Background: This case, involving the Arelma assets, was initiated in 2009 by a representative of the martial law human rights violations victims which had won a class suit in Hawaii (against the Marcos estate). The Republic is not a party in this case as it asserts sovereign immunity as a matter of right. However, it believes that the monies belong to the Republic and not to the Marcoses. It bears noting that in the 2008 case of Republic v. Pimentel (which also dealt with the Arelma assets), the US Supreme Court had dismissed the proceeding, giving respect to international comity and the Republic’s sovereign immunity. The instant litigation in New York is simply a thinly-veiled attempt to revive this earlier litigation. It was PNB, as escrow agent, and Arelma which both intervened, seeking the dismissal of the petition. The NY Supreme Court denied the motion to dismiss, but the NY Appellate Division reversed the lower court’s order (on 16 June 2011). It held, in a 4-1 decision, that the plaintiffs’ suit should be dismissed as the case should not proceed in the absence of the Republic and that to require the Republic to participate would be to essentially negate its sovereign immunity. Petitioners appealed the dismissal to the NY Court of Appeals which, on 26 June 2012, in turn, affirmed the dismissal of the case.



Background: In 2009, the Sandiganbayan ruled the Arelma assets as ill-gotten wealth and, thus, forfeited in favor of the Republic. The Marcoses raised this issue to the Supreme Court soon thereafter. On 25 April 2012, the Supreme Court affirmed the Sandiganbayan’s decision. The decision dismissed all the arguments of the Marcoses and makes a number of significant points, including:

1. that forfeiture proceedings under R.A. 1379 are civil in nature and that, therefore, summary judgment is allowed;

2. that the Republic was able to establish a prima facie presumption that the subject assets were manifestly and patently disproportionate to the Marcoses’ salaries as public officials and that they had failed to overturn this presumption when they merely presented vague denials and pleaded “lack of sufficient knowledge”;

3. that the 2003 decision on the Swiss deposits did not serve as the entire judgment in Civil Case No. 141 (Petition for forfeiture of Marcos ill-gotten wealth) and that the Republic was not precluded from seeking partial summary judgment over another matter covered by the petition for forfeiture; and

4. that the petitioners are simply attempting to delay recoveries by evasiveness and the expedient profession of ignorance, and that their sham denials and their failure to properly tender an issue justified the application for summary judgment on the part of the Republic.

Petitioners have  filed motions for reconsideration of the Supreme Court’s decision–which the the Republic will be opposing.



In 1987, the PCGG filed Civil Case No. 33 which was later subdivided into Civil Case Nos. 33-A to 33-H. To this cluster of cases belong the infamous “coco levy” cases which cover three blocks of shares in San Miguel Corporation: 20% (“Cojuangco Block”), 24% (“CIIF Block”) and 4% (“Treasury Shares”).

The relevant dates are, as follows: (a) the initial Sandiganbayan disapproval of Compromise Agreement: 25 October 1991; (b) Sandiganbayan denial of Motion for Reconsideration: 18 March 1992; (c) Supreme Court affirmation of Sandiganbayan’s Resolution: 14 September 2000; (d) Supreme Court denial of SMC M.R.: 17 April 2001; (e) Supreme Court Entry of Judgment: 27 June 2001.


Background:  Based on the allegations in the Republic’s complaint, the Cojuangco Block was purchased by Mr. Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, Jr. through loans that he took out from United Coconut Planters Bank and credit advances from the CIIF Oil Mills Group, at the time when Mr. Cojuangco was in control of these institutions and the government-facilitated monopoly of the Philippine coconut industry.

Status: In April 2011, the Supreme Court decided against the Republic in the case that it filed against Mr. Cojuangco. In its Decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Republic failed to substantiate its claims and fell short in providing the necessary evidence as regards contentious issues surrounding Mr. Cojuangco’s acquisition of a 20% block of San Miguel Corporation shares. Soon thereafter, the Commission filed a Motion for Reconsideration reiterating the position earlier adverted to by Justice Carpio-Morales in her dissenting opinion that the evidence adduced, taken together with the judicial admissions made by Mr. Cojuangco, were sufficient to confirm that the said contested shares rightly belong to the Republic (and to be held by it, in trust for all the coconut farmers and the coconut industry). Unfortunately, the said pleading was denied by the Court.

The Commission subsequently filed a Second Motion for Reconsideration which was expunged by the Court. On 29 November 2011, the Commission filed an Omnibus Motion asking the Court to reinstate the Second Motion for Reconsideration, and to consider the issues and arguments raised in the “higher interests of justice” as is allowed by the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court. This, too, was expunged by the Supreme Court via Resolution dated 17 January 2012.



Background: The CIIF Block represents shares in SMC that were previously adjudged by the Sandiganbayan as belonging to the Republic, to be held in trust for the coconut farmers and the coconut industry. These shares were found to have been purchased using coco levy funds (which, by nature, are prima facie public funds).

Status: In a Decision dated 24 January 2012, the Supreme Court, by a unanimous vote of 11-0, decided in favor of the Republic, whereby it affirmed the earlier Resolutions of the Sandiganbayan to the effect that the 6 CIIF Oil Mills, the 14 Holding Companies, and the CIIF Block, along with all dividends declared, paid and issued, are owned by the Government to be used only for the benefit of all coconut farmers and for the development of the coconut industry. On 14 February 2012, a Motion for Reconsideration was filed by COCOFED. which will be opposed by the Commission.



Background: The Treasury Shares are part of the CIIF Block which were the subject of a 1986 stock purchase agreement between SMC and UCPB (then administrator of the CIIF). This purchase did not pan out and a subsequent attempt to compromise was disapproved by the Sandiganbayan in 1991. The Treasury Shares were awarded in favor of the Republic by the Sandiganbayan and this was affirmed by the Supreme Court on 14 September 2000. Entry of Judgment was made on 27 June 2001. A prior demand was made by the Commission during the time of Chairperson Haydee Yorac, upon San Miguel Corporation. However, SMC did not comply with the order of the Supreme Court affirming the Sandiganbayan’s prior resolutions.

Status: The present Commission filed a motion in the Supreme Court, asking that SMC be directed to comply with its order for the latter to deliver 4% Treasury Shares in SMC, including all the cash and/or stock dividends that have accrued thereto, had the said shares of stock not been previously declared treasury shares.  SMC has filed a comment reiterating and rehashing its previous position on the matter.



“Payanig sa Pasig” is an 18.5 hectare property situated in the heart of the Pasig Central Business District owned by Mid-Pasig Land Development Corporation (MPLDC). MPLDC was surrendered by Jose Y. Campos to the government, through the Commission, in 1986.

On 24 August 2011, the Supreme Court, in City of Pasig v. Republic of the Philippines (G.R. No. 185023), affirmed the ownership and possession over Payanig sa Pasig. Furthermore, the Commission recently commenced the filing of cases to eject 10 non-paying tenants in the said property (as a result of the latter’s refusal to heed the demand letter sent by MPLDC). The Commission and MPLDC asked the court to issue a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction compelling the non-paying tenants to vacate and deliver the possession of the property to the government.

Observations on Case Inventory in Sandiganbayan

Unfortunately, the average length of time for these pending cases from filing, to current year, is 20 years, with the longest period running at 24 years. 64 percent of the cases pending with the Sandiganbayan have been pending for more than 20 years. This may be due, in part, to the interlocutory appeals which are raised by parties from the Sandiganbayan to the Supreme Court, which also toll the proceedings below.

The average period for incidents elevated from the Sandiganbayan to the Supreme Court is 9 years, with the longest incident running at 21 years. 18 percent of these incidents have been pending in the SC for more than 20 years.

This period is embedded in the number of years that the case remains pending in the Sandiganbayan, as the proceedings with the Supreme Court on the incidents affect the proceedings in the Sandiganbayan from which the incidents arise.



xxx The present Commission has learned from the mistakes of its past incarnations–and so, too, should the people learn the lessons of history. In its 26th year, the Commission will continue in its vigorous pursuit of its mandate–with the full understanding that its success (or failure) is premised on a proper and functioning politico-legal environment, steeped in good governance and rid of corruption.

Excerpted from the PCGG report of June 30,  2012 in pcgg-milestone-report  .pdf