People of the Philippines vs. Garcia
Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo already started constructing a plunder case against Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia since the year 2003 and during the year 2004, Maj. Carlos Garcia was arrested for plunder and perjury. He and his family were accused of gathering P303.27 million in ill-gotten wealth while the Major General was in active service. As we can see, this issue had been alive in years and yet the government hasn’t made a rightful judgment about it.
Last December, Garcia walked out of imprisonment after posting bail at P60,000, which was granted after Garcia engaged in a plea bargain with the Office of the Ombudsman through the Office of the Special Prosecutor. Plea bargain is an agreement in a criminal case whereby the prosecutor offers the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge or to the original criminal charge with a recommendation of a lighter than the maximum sentence. Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia used this tactic as to have an “easy way out” or to have a lesser punishment for his case. Garcia’s counsel have decided to change his plea of “not guilty” to plunder and plead “guilty” to indirect bribery and violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act. This plea bargaining he did made his sentence lesser covered by time he has already served. Even though he was accused of plundering a total of P303 million, the plea bargaining agreement has settled to for at least P135.43 million. The plea bargain was made most probably due to lack of evidence, which is contradictory with the belief of former Ombudsman Marcelo.
There is strong evidence that Maj. Gen. Garcia, has abused his position as gatekeeper of the AFP’s funds and has stolen from UN Peacekeeping Reimbursements, US-PH Balikatan Expenses, AFP Procurements, and Interagency Transfers. Also, the evidences point out that he draw off funds from the different bank accounts he set up as Comptroller, under the name of AFP, into his own personal accounts....
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