Pangilinan tells prosecutors in Garcia plea bargain deal to quit, too

May 2, 2011

Maila Ager
May 3, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—A senator on Tuesday asked the state prosecutors involved in the plea bargaining agreement with former comptroller Carlos Garcia to follow the lead of resigned Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

“Yes, they should resign and if they refuse, then moves must be initiated to have them removed,” Senator Francis Pangilinan said in a text message.

“Administrative charges should be filed against them and if found wanting, they should be dismissed from the service,” he added.

Pangilinan noted that the state prosecutors “sounded more like defense lawyers hired by the Garcias rather than state prosecutors” when they defended their decision to enter into the plea bargaining agreement with the former military officer.

Pangilinan was one of those who signed the recommendation of the Senate blue ribbon committee, seeking the removal of the state prosecutors for allegedly bungling the plunder case against Garcia.

The committee being headed by Senator Teofisto Guingona III specifically sought the removal from office of special prosecutor Wendell Barreras-Sulit, deputy special prosecutor Robert Callos, acting deputy special prosecutor Jesus Micael, assistant prosecutor Jose Balmeo Jr., and assistant special prosecutor Joseph Capistrano.

The committee report, however, has yet to be transmitted to the plenary for either adoption or rejection.

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