Government reaffirms commitment to recover ill-gotten wealth

MANILA, June 18 (PNA) — The Philippine government remains committed to recovering illegally acquired wealth despite facing numerous challenges, a Palace official said Wednesday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said during a press briefing that he is aware of Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Chairman Andy Bautista’s statement that, given its experience in running after the Marcoses for the past 30 years, the Commission is likely to encounter challenges in recovering the wealth that alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim Napoles has amassed illegally.

“Ipinunto niya (Bautista) na simula pa ‘nung 1986, na halos 30 taon na ang nakalilipas, ay nagsisikap ang pamahalaan na ma-recover nga, ‘yung alleged ill-gotten wealth,” Coloma said.

“Bagama’t mayroong mga hamon at balakid, katulad ng kanyang isinalaysay, determinado pa rin ang pamahalaan na pairalin ang batas,” he added.

The government will continue to pursue the recovery of ill-gotten wealth regardless of who the culprits are, Coloma said.

According to state witnesses, Napoles has deposited millions of dollars in US banks and has made huge investments in US properties.

In the records of key whistleblower Benhur Luy alone, Napoles’ dollar remittances ranged from US$ 30,000 to US$ 100,000 almost every week in 2011.

She and three senators are facing plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan. (PNA)