January 5, 2011
MANILA, Philippines (PNA) — Senator Alan Peter Cayetano urged on Wednesday the concerned Senate committees to investigate the reason why the Office of the Ombudsman agreed to enter into plea bargain with former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller Gen. Carlos Garcia.
”This plea bargain would serve bad precedent because it might be used by others to escape plunder cases filed against them,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano said the Senate committees on justice and national defense and security both headed by Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero or the blue ribbon chaired by Senator Teofisto Guingona III can hold inquiry into the controversy.
”These committees can scrutinize these plea bargain in aid of legislation,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano said it is not enough that the government would just agree to allow Garcia to escape justice by entering into plea bargain with Ombudsman.
The lawmaker described Garcia as big fish in the government’s fight against graft and corruption but Cayetano believed that bigger fish was behind why Garcia was able to pocket P300 million.
”These people who connived with Garcia should also be investigated,” Cayetano said.
Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan agreed with Cayetano, saying Garcia should not be allowed to go away scot-free and enjoy the rest of his loot.
”He should not be allowed to take home even a cent of what he stole. He should rot in jail and serve as an example to all would-be plunderers. That would be a good example of a bad deed getting punished instead of setting a bad example of a court not doing its mandate,” Pangilinan said.
”Letting Garcia escape with this is a real mockery of our system and our laws–with the robber literally laughing his way to the bank! This is a mockery of the very ideals we fought for in EDSA!,” Pangilinan added.
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