Ex-PCGG chief to run for president in 2016

Posted on February 07, 2015

A FORMER chairman of a body tasked to recover ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses on Friday announced his bid to run for the presidency in the 2016 elections.

Camilo L. Sabio, 78, who served as chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) during the time of then president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said his platform will be focused on fighting poverty.

“My intention to secure the highest post of the land is to finally lead our country and our people from the bondage of poverty,” he told reporters in his Quezon City home, where he made his intentions public.

To bolster his chances, Mr. Camilo said he will ask for the endorsement of the Lakas-CMD [Christian Muslim Democrats] party, where he was founding member of its predecessor, the Christian Social Movement.

BusinessWorld tried to get comments from the current Lakas-CMD President, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez (1st district), but he has yet to reply.

Besides being PCGG chairman, Mr. Sabio previously held the position of Secretary-General in the House of Representatives from 1992 to 1998 under then House Speaker Jose C. de Venecia. He also served as president of the Philippine Constitutional Association (PhilConsA) from 1998 to 2002.

In the 1998 elections, Mr. Sabio ran for vice-president under the Partido Bansang Marangal (National Dignity Party). He however lost to Ms. Macapagal-Arroyo.

Mr. Sabio is currently facing graft charges before the Office of Ombudsman for allegedly attempting to influence a Court of Appeals (CA) justice -- the deceased Justice Jose L. Sabio Jr., his younger brother -- in a case pending before the court between the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)-Manila Electric Company (Meralco) case.

In a joint resolution dated Nov. 26, 2014, news reports said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales found probable cause to indict Mr. Sabio for two counts of violation of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and for violation of the Revised Penal Code.

The resolution said Mr. Sabio “tried to convince Justice Sabio ‘of the rightness of the stand of the GSIS and asked his brother to help the GSIS, which represents the interest of the poor people.’”

Mr. Sabio and four other PCGG officials have also been found guilty of violating administrative rules when they leased vehicles worth P5.3 million in 2007. -- Imee Charee C. Delavin