PCGG thumbs down offer of Lucio Tan’s brod

PCGG thumbs down offer of Lucio Tan’s brod
By Philip Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 09:20:00 10/07/2009

MANILA, Philippines—The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) yesterday turned down the offer of Mariano Tanenglian to testify against his estranged brother, business tycoon Lucio Tan, in a Marcos ill-gotten wealth case.

PCGG Commissioner Ricardo Abcede said the conditions set by Tanenglian, particularly his request for immunity from suit, were “disadvantageous to the government.”

“If he wants to testify, he should not set any conditions,” he said.

“They are brothers. What if he suddenly changes his mind and turns his back on us? What then?” Abcede said.

Abcede said Tanenglian’s offer “might already be too late” because the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court had already decided that it would no longer hear any testimonies from government witnesses in the 20-year-old case.

Tanenglian is one of the respondents in the case, which is related to the Marcoses’ alleged stake in Lucio Tan’s companies.

Earlier, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) had advised the PCGG to turn down the proposed immunity agreement with Tanenglian.

In a nine-page memorandum to PCGG Chair Camilo Sabio, Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera said the proposed agreement would be “grossly disadvantageous” to the government.

“Up to this time, Tanenglian has not given the PCGG any new information that could perhaps further strengthen the republic’s case...he merely relies on documents already available to the republic,” Devanadera said.

Devanadera said there was also no certainty that Tanenglian would provide useful information at all.

Tanenglian offered to turn government witness in exchange for being dropped from the list of respondents in the case.

He also wanted immunity in connection with other cases related to the Lucio Tan group of companies.

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