Integrity Philippines --------Pinoy Solutions to Corruption

NEWS - Jan. 1 - 7

Pinoy Solutions to Corruption
Media reports & editorials about " PINOY SOLUTIONS"
PINOY SOLUTIONS TO CORRUPTION *** Speech by Ex-Governor Grace Padaca at Silliman University
PINOY SOLUTIONS TO CORRUPTION *** Speech by Senator TG GUINGONA at Silliman University
The New Commission on Audit
US$434-million Millennium Challenge Corp.Grant
Good Practices
Ideas from & Comparisons with Other Countries
FINAL NEWS - SEPT. 16 - 23
NEWS - Sept. 1 - 15, 2011
NEWS - AUGUST 23 - 31, 2011
NEWS - AUGUST 15 - 22, 2011
NEWS - AUGUST 9 - 15, 2011
NEWS - AUGUST 1 - 8, 2011
NEWS - JULY 24 - 31, 2011
NEWS - JULY 16-23, 2011
NEWS - JULY 9 - 15, 2011
NEWS - JULY 1 - 8, 2011
NEWS - JUNE 22 - 30, 2011
NEWS - JUNE 11 - 21, 2011
NEWS - JUNE 1 - 10, 2011
NEWS MAY 25 - 31, 2011
NEWS - May 14 - 24, 2011
NEWS - MAY 1 - 13, 2011
NEWS - APRIL 17 - 30
NEWS - APRIL 11 - 16, 2011
NEWS - April 1 - 10, 2011
NEWS - MARCH 22 - 31
NEWS - MARCH 14 - 21
NEWS - March 8 - 14
NEWS - March 1 - 7
NEWS - FEB. 20 - 28
NEWS - FEB. 10 - 19
NEWS - FEB. 1 - 9, 2011
NEWS - Jan. 23 - 31, 2011
NEWS - JAN. 16 -22
NEWS - Jan. 8 - 15
NEWS - Jan. 1 - 7
NEWS DEC. 16 - 31
NEWS - DEC. 1 - 15
NEWS - Nov. 16 - 30
NEWS - Nov. 1 - 15
NEWS - October 15 - 31
NEWS September 16 - 30
NEWS - Sept. 1 - 15
News August 16 - 31
News - July 18 - 31
News - July 1 - 17
NEWS >>> JUNE 27 - 30
NEWS >>> JUNE 20 - 26
NEWS ... JUNE 13 - 19
NEWS >>> JUNE 6 - 12
MAP - MAPping a Culture of Integrity
EHEM! --- Anti-Corruption Initiative of the Philippine Jesuits
iPro - The Philippines Integrity Project
iPro Project Photos

News extracts are presented on this website. To read the full original article at its source click on the underlined text below


AQUINO SEES CORRUPTION IN TERMINAL DEAL: Corruption that was alleged to have attended the construction of a new terminal at the country's premier airport apparently is stopping President Benigno Aquino 3rd from immediately resolving a festering row between the government and a foreign firm that helped build the facility. President Aquino on Thursday cited "overpricing" as evidence that graft figured in the building of the $650-million terminal. For now, the President said during a chance interview, his administration is committed to resolve the dispute over the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA 3) in a "legal manner."

OCHOA: PRESIDENCY MORE TRANSPARENT, RESPONSIBLE IN SPENDING: Offices under the Office of the President (OP) will now have to work and live within their specific budgets, according to new policies being instituted by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. to ensure transparency and accountability. In a departure from previous spending practices, offices directly under the Office of the Executive Secretary referred to as OP Proper have each been given fixed budgets for 2011 based on their personnel and operations requirements. In the past, all OP Proper offices were allowed to request funds from the lump-sum appropriations of the OP subject to the discretion of the executive secretary, a practice that led to "lax fiscal discipline" because each office would ask for money as needed instead of learning to program their expenses within a specific budget, Ochoa explained. "The problem with the previous set-up was that offices knew they could always request for funds when their funds dried up as long as they knew there were funds available," he added. "That's just not consistent with our policies regarding the prudent and judicious use of our resources."

OMBUDSMAN SUSPENDS 3 TRANSPORT EXECS: The anti-graft office has suspended for three months without pay three officials of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in this city for failing to liquidate their cash advances about six years ago.

SUPREME COURT AVOIDS ACCOUNTABILITY: Annual reports of the Commission on Audit for two years, 2008 and 2009, show that the Supreme Court did not manage its finances well and even violated executive orders that require trust funds to be deposited to the Bureau of Treasury and interest earned on fiduciary funds to be remitted to the bureau. The COA found out that, in 2008, the Court did not deposit P4.8 billion in trust receipts. By 2009, the running total was already P5.38 billion. COA's recommendation to the Court to deposit these funds to the treasury remains unheeded.

COA: SAN FERNANDO WASTED MONEY ON FAULTY EQUIPMENT: SAN Fernando town bought a bulldozer worth P2.3 million but the equipment broke down less than a year after its purchase, resulting in the wastage of government funds, state auditors said. Acquired in May 2007 through a five-year loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), the bulldozer "did not serve its purpose due to its early breakdown while the municipality is continuously paying its obligation with the DBP until the year 2012," the 2009 Commission on Audit (COA) report read.

TALISAY CITY TREASURY EMPLOYEE faces malversation charges in court for reportedly falsifying a receipt issued to an underwriter five years ago.

PACT VS RICE SMUGGLING RENEWED: The National Food Authority (NFA) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) have renewed an agreement to jointly fight rice smuggling. NFA Administrator Angelito T. Banayo and BOC Commissioner Angelito A. Alvarez signed recently a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to extend and strengthen a previous agreement between the two agencies to jointly pursue and prosecute rice smugglers. Banayo said the proliferation of smuggled rice "deprives our farmers with a remunerative income from their produce."

GERMAN AMBASSADOR: REVIVE TERMINAL NEGOTIATIONS >>> Germany's ambassador Urged the Aquino administration to put an end to the ownership dispute over the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA 3) by reviving negotiations among the parties involved in the case.

NORTHRAIL CONTRACT TO BE RENEGOTIATED: Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose de Jesus expressed confidence yesterday that the government could renegotiate the expensive US$503-million contract for the construction of the Northrail with a Chinese firm.

NORTHRAIL MESS HIGHLIGHTED IN NEW BOOK: Launched in 2004 as a great milestone in China-Philippine relations, Northrail has since become an embarrassing millstone in the necks of the two countries. Six years after it began, the project is only 15 percent complete as of end-2009 and is not likely to be finished until around 2013 at the March 2009, officials said the project cost merely went up from $1.18 billion to $1.3 billion. But recent research by Newsbreak, which benefited from easier access to official documents following the change in administration in July, shows that the cost to complete the Northrail project could be as high as $1.8 billion and not just $1.3 billion because of the reduction in CNMEG's scope of work.

JOKER, SCROOGE OFCONGRESS FOR 19TH YEAR: The Commission on Audit (CoA) released figures Tuesday showing opposition Senator Joker Arroyo as the thriftiest member of the Senate in 2009 and Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and then-Senator-now-President Benigno S. Aquino III spending the most on their offices. Arroyo maintained his being the "Scrooge of Congress" among the 23 senators in 2009 in the disbursements of office expenditures, including their staff salaries and benefits, according to the CoA report. Arroyo, for the 19th straight year, was the thriftiest senator who spent only about P2.264 million in salaries and benefits for his staff in 2009.

SECRET COPS TARGET "FIXERS": Five plainclothes policemen were deployed inside the Pasay City Treasurers Office last Monday to pounce on fixers and reeled in two city hall employees for investigation on the first day of processing taxes for the year...

COURT DEALS MARCOS FAMILY ANOTHER SETBACK: The Sandiganbayan reiterated that Imelda Marcos and daughter Irene Marcos-Araneta cannot acquire a once-secret account worth $35 million, further strengthening the court's previous decision that the Arelma assets of the Marcoses are ill-gotten.

KIDAPAWAN MAYOR, ADMINISTRATOR CHARGED WITH GRAFT: An anti-corruption group in Kidapawan City filed graft charges against two officials - the Mayor and the city administrator - for their alleged failure to implement on time the wastewater treatment project for the city's public market and slaughterhouse.

MANY CORRUPTION CRUSADING JOURNALISTS KILLED IN 2010: Of the 44 journalists killed in 2010 for whose deaths a key advocacy group was able to find a motive, almost a third of them covered corruption.


Beginning 2011, lawmakers are required to post details about their pork barrel spending on government Web sites to allow the people to keep tabs on how and where their money is spent. Some provisions of the P1.645-trillion national budget require the disclosure of fund releases, bid documents, the result of bids and progress of project implementation, among others, via publication on the government's official Web sites, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said


The administration passed the 2011 budget into law before New Year -- a first in 11 years, and thus spurring public expectation that the budget itself would bear practical plans and real change from the past...a very good start as is the identification and cancellation of several initiatives that are wasteful and inefficient, but much more needs to be done at a strategic and structural level before we can call this a real zero-based or reformist budget much less a transformational one. --- Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project

A TEST FOR ANTI-CORRUPTION DRIVE: The Office of the Solicitor General is set to file an intervention to the plea bargain deal of Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, former comptroller of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Ombudsman that allowed him to dodge a plunder charge. Staff members of the OSG were reportedly busy copying the nine volumes of documents that gIve a glimpse of the massive corruption in the military. That's welcome news because many are wondering why the Aquino government seemed not to be moving on the Garcia case...Talks are that a former official of the Arroyo administration who was also a retired military official worked on the Sandiganbayan. The Ombudsman is dominated by Arroyo's people whose tolerance to graft and corruption is a source of amazement. But Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Edilberto Sandoval is an appointee of Aquino. Truth and justice are on the side of the Filipino people in the Garcia case. The people wont be very forgiving if Aquinos legal team bungles this.

LUISTRO: KICK OLD BAD HABITS >>> Starting the new year with optimism, Education Secretary Armin Luistro called on the employees of the government's largest bureaucracy to kick old, bad practices and make habits of honesty and hard work as the department pursues critical goals this year..."This is the best time to leave behind systems that don't work, practices that corrupt, and time that is wasted...

AIR TERMINAL MYSTERY: Fraport AG, the German partner in the Terminal 3 project, will have to prove it indeed spent $400 million to build the facility if it decides to engage the Philippine government in another round of arbitration before the Washington-based International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.

NEW BATTLE LOOMS OVER AIR TERMINAL: The Philippine government is gearing up for a new round of legal battle over Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 after suffering a setback in an arbitration case in Washington, D.C.

AIRPORT TERMINAL DISPUTE CASE: The Philippine government still owns and operates the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 despite losing an arbitration case in Washington DC, Malacañang said...The government seized the terminal in 2004 following a Supreme Court decision voiding the Piatco contract to build and operate the terminal. The investors went to the World Bank to recover the hundreds of millions of dollars that it reportedly invested in the airport.

MANDAUE CITY: BUSINESS PERMITS IN 30 MINUTES >>> "From 17 steps, we have reduced it to four steps and (we) shall target serving you within 30 minutes, compared to previous years where you take days or even weeks before you get your permits," the mayor said in his letter to taxpayers explaining the new procedure..."Efficient and graft-free government" is the project's aim...

SINGSON RENEWS CALL FOR INTEGRITY: Secretary Rogelio Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Monday renewed his call for the department's employees to fully support President Benigno S. Aquino III's campaign against graft and corruption...Singson is emphatic in his desire to minimize or eliminate corruption at the DPWH so that by 2012, the department would be clearly treading on a straight path and moving toward the restoration of public trust.

GOCC OVERSIGHT COMING: The 157 Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) will again be subjected to another performance review...

SOLON: WASTING TIME ON NEW "TRUTH COMMISION": The head of the House opposition bloc cautioned Malacañang yesterday about its plan to issue a new executive order reviving the controversial Truth Commission after the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that the original EO was unconstitutional...House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman of Albay...said the Aquino administration was wasting time in its campaign against corruption by focusing too much on the creation of the Truth Commission because the President "wants to imprint his logo on everything he does." "If they are really serious in fighting corruption, why don't they file charges before the Department of Justice and the Ombudsman..."

DE LIMA: NEW "TRUTH COMMISSION" LIKELY >>> If the Supreme Court (SC) will once again junk Malacañang's bid to create the Truth Commission, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III will likely issue a new executive order creating a truth body to investigate corruption scandals during the Arroyo regime.

OMBUDSMAN: EVIDENCE OFTEN DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN >>> In explaining the delay in the investigation of celebrated cases, Ombudsman Gutierrez said the anti-graft body has been having difficulty looking for and documenting evidence. She said that in deciding cases, graft investigators must adhere to the rule of law and the Constitution. She asked "if I do not decide on the basis of evidence what would happen when your loved ones are dragged before the Ombudsman with false charges." She said probers must solely rely on evidence uncovered or presented, admitting that investigating is tedious job.

ILOILO'S MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT: TRANSACTION TRASPARENCY REFORMS >>> Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor considers reform in the way transactions were conducted in the provincial capitol as among his major accomplishments during the first six months of his term...He said he has ordered the Bids and Awards Committee to make biddings transparent even as he reiterated his warning to public employees not to take "grease money" or "commissions" in anyone's transactions with the provincial government.

LEADERS' NEW YEAR MESSAGES: In his first New Year's message as the country's leader, President Aquino specifically asked for the people's continued support for the government's fight against corruption and poverty...We shall also move resolutely to curb graft and corruption consistent with the new administration's pledge to uphold good governance, the Senate president said

AQUINO: STATE FIRMS' PERKS STILL SUSPENDED: President Aquino is keeping suspended the bonuses, incentives, and other perks enjoyed by board members of government-owned or -controlled corporations and government financial institutions for another month.

ALCALA: WISER USE OF LOAN FUNDS PLEDGED: Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala has pledged to be more judicious in the management of 16 foreign-assisted projects worth P17.214 billion.

ROBREDO: LGU FINANCES MUST BE TRANSPARENT >>> The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has reminded local government units (LGUs) to promote transparent, honest, and responsive governance by posting their barangay budget, statement of income and expenditures, annual procurement plan, and other barangay transactions in conspicuous places such as the entrance of the barangay hall or the government website.

C0A: POOR CONTROLS IN MALABUYOC >>> The town did not submit an inventory report of its properties amounting to P32.2 million, and it has "a weak internal control in the granting of cash advances," the 2009 Commission on Audit (COA) report said.

NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER MAY BE IN ORDER: Malacañang might issue another order to replace Executive Order No. 1 creating the Truth Commission, if the Supreme Court (SC) upholds its previous ruling declaring the EO unconstitutional, according to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. "The better option is just to issue a new EO, a new EO on the Truth Commission, this time addressing the objections of the SC, (if our) motion for reconsideration (will be denied)," De Lima told Palace reporters in a recent interview. She said amending EO 1 might not be legally feasible at this point since 10 of the 15 SC justices had decided that it violated the equal protection clause guaranteed under the 1987 Constitution.

PRELATE AT NEW YEAR: REFUSE CORRUPTION >>> The leader of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) urged the people to refuse corrupt practices and dishonesty which affect every level of the society. "Let us then intensify and sustain this righteous effort of eradicating graft and corruption," said Bishop Nereo Odchimar in his New Year's message. However, despite the troubles the people are facing, the prelate assured them of God's concern for them and to keep in the memory of their hearts the goodness of the Lord, "who sees us through in our joys and pains, despite our human inequities," Odchimar said

CBCP head pushes fight vs corruption and poverty, slams 'depopulation' anew

NEXT 6 MONTHS CRITICAL FOR AQUINO: "He has to resolve the immediate problems that the past Arroyo administration has given him, including the Arroyo influence in the judiciary, put in place the foundation for his anti-poverty and anti-corruption programs, and produce visible results in alleviating poverty and in combating entrenched big corrupters,"

HOUSE COMMITTEE URGED TO PROBE CASH TRANSFER CORRUPTION: The controversial P 21-B conditional cash transfer (CCT) program of the Philippine government has yet to take effect this year, but reports of corruption regarding its implementation under the last six months of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration and the first six months of Benigno Simeon Aquino III government is set to challenge anew the the well debated anti-poverty project. The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday urged the House oversight committee tasked to monitor fund use and leakages of the P 21-B CCT program in 2011 to investigate allegations that the fund intended for beneficiaries were gone to corruption last year.

DRIVERS LICENSE CONTRACT BIDDING RESUMES: The Department of Transportation has resumed the bidding process on the P500 million contract for the supply of driver's license cards to the Land Transportation Office, with an eye on awarding the contract by the end of March 2011...Transportation Secretary Jose De Jesus...cancelled the original bidding schedule in September, ordered the terms eased to accommodate as many bidders as possible after a prospective supplier complained that the original rules would favor certain suppliers. After a review, the Special Bids and Awards Committee created by De Jesus revised the terms of reference and did away with the preference for paper-based cards, thus rendering the process open to all potential bidders.


DOING BUSINESS IN THE PHILIPPINES: ...We need to fix bureaucracy's complications. This is not only for government but also for private business. Complication shows up even in our languages where it takes a longer to express an idea than in English or Chinese. We seem to like complications or our mindsets are geared that way. Efficiency will be helped if we simplified. Complications invite or at least provoke corruption. With delays instead of straightforward answers of yes or no, there is the possibility of building up "utang na loob" (gratitude tokens). This is not reprehensible except that it may be collectible later for non ethical returns. This is an example of a good thing that turned sour or opened up to corruption. (A foreign contractor lamented that it takes him six months to get permits for work contracts here while it took him two days to do the same in Papua New Guinea.)

WHO'S GARCIA PROTECTING?: NOW that it's out in the open that former Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia's plea bargain deal was approved by the Sandiganbayan on May 4, 2010 yet, the next question is what was the obfuscating and lying of the Tanodbayan all about?

BIG MONEY AT IMMIGRATION: Officers and employees of the Bureau of Immigration are up in arms against the "gross, blatant and deliberate violations of law" of Atty. Ronald P. Ledesma, officer-in-charge. They accuse him of removals, designations and reassignments of personnel without the approval of the Secretary of Justice. Particularly targetted are those considered close to President Arroyo and to former Commissioner Marcelino Libanan. Many have been arbitrarily transferred to outports. Employees have been ordered to be out of their offices by 5:30 p.m. A white paper also points out that thousands of illegal Chinese and Korean nationals have entered the country and are holding jobs or doing business under the protection of Immigration officials.

GOOD START: just in case the Sandiganbayan approves Garcia's proposed deal and he gets to keep at least P50 million of his family's estimated P350 million in assets, the taxmen are ready. The investigation of Garcia's wealth, now being conducted by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, is a welcome development. The BIR can take tips from the statements given by Garcia's wife Clarita to customs and immigration authorities at the San Francisco airport where their two sons were accosted several years ago for failure to declare $100,000 in their possession. In the statements, Clarita detailed the sources of their family's wealth as well as the ways by which they avoided paying taxes in the Philippines. How a comptroller of one of Asia's poorest armed forces accumulated such wealth should be an interesting story for tax collectors. The BIR should not stop with Garcia. There are several others who have amassed vast wealth illegally in this country and gotten away with it. They include jueteng lords, smugglers, drug dealers and even kidnappers. Most of them have laundered their money and now operate legitimate businesses; some have entered politics.

"COURT OF APPEALS DECISIONS FOR SALE: Lately, the Court of Appeals acquitted a number of persons convicted by the lower courts of drug trafficking or drug pushing, according to my mole at the appellate court. My little birdie said that most of those ordered set free by the appellate court are Chinese members of drug syndicates. Which means, according to the unimpeachable source, 'may lagayan na nangyari dahil maraming pera ang mga sindikato (money changed hands because the syndicates have the finances).' Reports of acquittal decisions by the Court of Appeals because some justices were bribed are no longer new and news. Although there are honest justices in the appellate court, a number of its magistrates are corrupt." -- by Ramon Tulfo in Philippine Daily Inquirer

ARE SUPREME COURT JUSTICS GETTING DOUBLE PAY? The Court...created the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) although there is no law or constitutional provision authorizing it. What the Constitution provides is for the whole Supreme Court to sit as the tribunal to resolve conflicts regarding the election of the president and vice president. But what it did was to create a special body (the PET), composed of justices, to do that. Members of the PET receive additional compensation of P100,000 a month, even after a case has been terminated or when there is no case pending. Aside from their salaries and allowances as justices of the high tribunal, they are receiving additional compensation as members of PET...Justices are members of the PET because they are high court justices for which they are already paid. They are not supposed to be paid again for being a member of the PET. That is clearly double compensation even if they call it "allowance."

PUBLIC WORKS TRANSFORMATION: The new team at the Department of Public Works and Highways is laying the groundwork for the transformation of the agency, according to a published report. This is welcome news and deserves the support of all DPWH personnel and other sectors. In all surveys, the department has consistenly competed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs for the dubious distinction of being the most corrupt government agency. Corruption in the DPWH has been blamed for the construction of substandard roads and bridges, and for the inadequacy of public funds to build badly needed facilities such as artesian wells...The new team at the DPWH knows what it is up against. The public can only hope that with President Aquino leading by example, with no corruption at the highest levels of government, the DPWH will succeed in its transformation.

WIMPY ANTI-GRAFT DRIVE: We fully understand large-scale and systemic corruption cannot be eradicated in the short-term. In fact, no big fish has so far been charged, much less, prosecuted over the first six months of the Aquino administration. President Aquino vowed moral leadership to combat corruption and address grinding poverty but has not launched an aggressive and comprehensive program of action to achieve the twin goals. In short, he has not taken the bull by the horns. This has prompted leaders of the Catholic Church to sound their call for an intensified effort to rid the country of graft and corruption this year. That the President needed reminding says a lot about his anti-corruption campaign.

NO TAKE OFF: The year opens for the Aquino administration with what Palace officials are downplaying as a setback in the controversy over the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3). Palace officials have said the government isnt letting go of the NAIA-3 despite an adverse ruling by the Washington-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. The ruling allows Germanys Fraport AG to initiate new proceedings against the Philippine government...While the government ponders the full impact of the ruling and its next move, it should address several urgent concerns. One is to make Terminal 3 fully operational, to ease congestion at what foreign investors have described as the "ancient" Terminal 1, the original Manila International Airport...The government must also quickly address the downgrading of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines by the US Federal Aviation Administration from Category 1 to 2, plus the ban on Philippine carriers imposed by the European Union last year. For the economy to take off, we need better airports. It will require resolving the dispute over NAIA-3.

GRAFT & CORRUPTION INIMIZED IN 2011?: The President is well advised to let the Presidential Commission on Good Government do the PTC's intended purposes and functions and let his legal advisers swallow their pride why they didn't think the PCGG would do the same as PTC without causing animosity.

ARE GARCIA'S WIFES ADMISSIONS ADMISSIBLE?: Are the voluble Clarita Depakakibo Garcia's admissions to US feds of her and her general-husband's plunder allowable in trial? Yes, and the Sandiganbayan had said so as far back as January 2010.

GARCIA BAIL GRANT "BROKE THREE DAY RULE": After lunch of December 16 Garcia's lawyer filed for bail under the two lighter felonies. In violation of the Rules of Court, another Ombudsman source said, the 2nd division heard and decided on the motion that very afternoon. Rule 15, Motions, Section 4, Hearing of Motion, states: "Except for motions which the court may act upon without prejudicing the rights of the adverse party, every motion shall be set for hearing by the applicant. Every written motion required to be heard and the notice of hearing thereof shall be served in such a manner as to ensure its receipt by the other party at least three (3) days before the date of hearing, unless the court for good cause sets the hearing on shorter notice." Insiders checked the records. No notice was given about the bail hearing to the Department of National Defense, AFP, or Anti-Money Laundering Council, the parties offended by Garcia. No consent was secured either by prosecutors from the DND-AFP for the belated plea deal. Before sundown 2nd division chairman Edilberto Sandoval, and associates Teresita Diaz-Baldos and Samuel Martires granted bail. Posting P30,000 for each of the lesser crimes, Garcia walked. Government lawyers reviewing the sequence of events agreed that the three-day rule was broken. "December 16th was a Thursday, so the earliest bail hearing, in three-day due notice, should have been Monday the 20th," one said. "What 'good cause' did they accord Garcia for a shorter notice?" Reporters asked what was happening then. Court administrator Renato Bocar said the plea deal was presumed approved by the three justices, hence, the bail. Plunder carries the penalty of life sentence. The 2nd division was set to issue a verdict on the rap, had the plea bargain not intervened. This week the court reportedly will decide instead the sentence for the lesser offenses. Direct bribery merits six to 12 years imprisonment, money laundering four to six years. Garcia has been in jail for six years. --Jarius Bondoc in The Philippine Star


ARROYO CAMP: NO MIDNIGHT DEAL >>> Agnes Devanadera, former solicitor general and later justice secretary during the Arroyo administration, said she was not aware of any last-minute deal designed to mitigate accused plunderer Carlos Garcia's liability and eventually set him free. Devanadera said government lawyers should focus on the legal process. She said talk of midnight deals "only serves to distract them."

AQUINO: SUPREME COURT MAY BE FINAL RESORT: Bringing the case against former military comptroller Carlos Garcia to the Supreme Court (SC) will be the final resort of the government if the Sandiganbayan rejects the government's appeal to stop his alleged irregular plea bargain deal with state prosecutors. President Aquino revealed this government option a day after the Office of the Solicitor General asked the anti-graft court to prevent Carlos from escaping plunder charges.

"MIDNIGHT DEAL": The Aquino administration asked the Sandiganbayan to revoke its approval of the plea bargain between former military comptroller Carlos Garcia and state prosecutors - a compromise Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and a veteran lawyer branded as smacking of a "midnight deal" under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In motions seeking to intervene in the case, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) asked the anti-graft court to set aside its May 4, 2010 resolution that would allow Garcia to escape charges of plunder for allegedly stealing P303 million from the state coffers. The OSG said that in approving the "highly irregular" deal, the court disregarded its own finding that there was strong evidence against Garcia. The compromise was also entered into without the consent of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, it added.

SOLON: UNMASK POWERFUL BACKERS: Retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia could not have committed massive graft in the military without the "blessing" or aid of people more powerful than him, Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said yesterday...He wants Garcia to "pinpoint" the other individuals involved in the alleged anomaly.

OFFICE OF SOLICITOR GENERAL: COURT APPROVAL WAS UNDER PRIOR GOVERNMENT >>>...57 days before former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stepped out of office, the Sandiganbayan Second Division granted the controversial petition which was filed on March 16, 2010 through a Joint Motion for Approval of Plea Bargaining Agreement. According to the OSG, of the more than P300 million alleged to have been plundered by Garcia and his family, the Office of the Ombudsman agreed to Garcias offer to return P135 million in cash and properties. In the plea bargaining agreement, the properties even appear to have been overvalued, the OSG claimed. "We are asking the Sandiganbayan to suspend the proceedings, revoke the bail granted to Garcia and declare null and void the plea bargaining agreement..."

SENATOR WANTS INVESTIGATION: Senator Alan Peter Cayetano urged 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.

SENATOR OUTRAGED: Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV slammed the Ombudsman for its decisions absolving people connected with the previous administration of their corruption cases, and vowed to take part in any move to impeach her. Trillanes cited in particular the Office of the Ombudsman's recent plea bargain deal with retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller Carlos Garcia.

SOLICIOTR GENERAL SEEKS TO INTERVENE: The Office of the Solicitor General has asked the Sandiganbayan to allow it to intervene, in behalf of the Philippine government, in the controversial plea bargain agreement between the Ombudsman and former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia.

SANDIGAN APPROVED BARGAIN LONG AGO: The Sandiganbayan anti-graft court has issued a resolution approving the plea bargain between prosecutors and former Armed Forces comptroller Carlos Garcia as early as May 4, 2010. This information was contained in a motion to intervene filed Wednesday by the Office of the Solicitor General. The OSG asked the court to recall the resolution and nullify the agreement.

SUPREME COURT: PALACE MAY ARGUE CASE AGAINST PLEA BARGAIN >>> Malacañang can oppose the plea bargain deal between former military comptroller Carlos F. Garcia and the Office of the Ombudsman before the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court spokesman said...the SC can summon members of the Office of the Ombudsman involved in the Garcia plunder case if the high court finds merit in the complaint. Even an ordinary taxpayer can question the deal before the SC as long as he can present evidence...

TAX CASE FILED VS GARCIA: Former military comptroller Carlos Garcia is headed to another legal battle over his family's unexplained wealth. The Department of Justice has recommended the filing of a tax evasion case against the retired major general and his wife Clarita for undeclared income of close to P28 million in 2002 and 2003. But the amount is barely 5 percent of the P303 million that Garcia is accused of stealing from state coffers when he was the chief finance officer of the 130,000-strong Armed Forces.

DE LIMA: WHY QUICK TURNOVER OF ASSETS? Justice Secretary Leila de Lima questioned the reported turnover to the government of more than P135-million worth of assets of former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller Carlos F. Garcia. De Lima asked why the assets were turned over even if the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has yet to approve the plea bargain agreement that the former military general entered into with the Office of the Ombudsman.

GARCIA URNS OVER P53m IN CASH, CARS: Almost P53 million worth of alleged ill-gotten wealth of former Major Gen. Carlos Garcia and his family have been turned over to the Ombudsman as part of a plea bargaining agreement in which he pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of direct bribery instead of to plunder.

DONE DEAL? Some of the allegedly ill-gotten assets of former military comptroller Carlos Garcia and his family have already been turned over to the government under the terms of a plea bargain that has yet to be approved by the Sandiganbayan antigraft court trying Garcia for plunder. The Sandiganbayan has yet to rule on the plea bargain agreement which, if approved, would also absolve Garcia of plunder as well as his coaccused, his wife Clarita and three sons...

CLICK HERE FOR List of Garcia assets turned over to govERNMENT

PALACE TO SANDIGANBAYAN: EXPLAIN FAST TRACK BAIL: Malacanang challenged the Sandiganbayan today to explain the Second Division's decision to grant "in undue haste" the bail petition of retired general Carlos Garcia on the day it was filed, thus breaking the three-day rule to set it for hearing. Earlier, officials who were tasked by President Aquino to look into the Garcia case said the urgent motion to grant bail was apparently railroaded and that the Second Division obviously disregarded an earlier ruling of the anti-graft court denying bail for the former military comptroller because the evidence against him was strong. "Right now, the Office of the Solicitor General and the legal team are studying the possible courses of action in the Sandigan(bayan) in that case, the Garcia case. Hopefully we can convince the Sandiganbayan if ever we decide to intervene to convince them why the plea bargaining should not go forward," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said. Lacierda, a lawyer, said the three-day rule to hear the petition for bail should have been followed.

WIFE, THREE SONS ABSOLVED: The wife and sons of former military comptroller Carlos Garcia could walk free of any charges should the Sandiganbayan approve his plea bargain agreement with government prosecutors. Garcia, in the plea bargain deal, absolved his wife Clarita and their three sons of any liability in relation to the cases he is facing in court. Clarita, Juan Paulo, Ian Carl and Timothy Mark, who are based in the United States, were Garcia's co-accused in his P303-million plunder and money laundering cases. The prosecution earlier sought their extradition so they could face trial.

BAIL PETITION RAILROADED: Government authorities tasked by President Aquino to look into the case of retired general Carlos Garcia exposed and questioned yesterday the alleged railroading of the petition for bail of the former military comptroller, saying it was filed and granted all in one day. The officials, who asked not to be named, said the urgent motion to post bail of Garcia filed by his lawyer Constantino de Jesus on Dec. 16 was put on the agenda and resolved on the very same day by the Sandiganbayans Second Division. The sources said at least three days must be allotted before the motion could be set for hearing in open court and in this case, since Dec. 19 was a Sunday, the hearing should have been scheduled on Dec. 20, a Monday. The sources said the documents would show how fast the Sandiganbayan acted on Garcia's motion. But the motion was immediately granted without any objection from the special prosecutors handling the case, apparently because a plea bargaining agreement had been reached.

EMPTY PLEA?: Did Garcia offer an empty bag? Most of assets already forfeited, say Marcelo, Ignacio...

PALACE HOPING FOR CASE VS GARCIA: Malacañang on Wednesday indicated that the Sandiganbayan should consider the strength of the evidence against retired Major General Carlos Garcia before ruling on his plea bargain deal with the Ombudsman special prosecutors. "We're hoping that the Sandiganbayan in deferring the resolution would see first the (pieces of evidence) and what went on," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a news briefing

ARMED FORCES OPPOSE PLEA DEAL: THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has strongly opposed a plea bargaining agreement between its former comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia and the Office of the Special Prosecutor. Breaking his silence, the Armed Forces chief of staff, Gen. Ricardo David, on Thursday disclosed that the military was against the plea bargaining deal from the start, a stand that they made known to the court, through the Judge Advocate General's Office.

ARMED FORCES SAY "HANDS OFF": EVEN if it strongly opposed a plea bargaining agreement struck by former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia with the Sandiganbayan, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said that the final decision on the case still remains with the anti-graft court. "It is now totally beyond our [Armed Forces] control," the Armed Forces spokesman, Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr., told The Manila Times on Friday. He said that the military establishment has done its share in the prosecution of Garcia when a general court-martial convicted the disgraced former comptroller five years ago of possession of undeclared wealth, ordered his dishonorable dismissal from the military and sentenced him to two years of hard labor.

GARCIA STILL HERE: Quoting Bureau of Immigrations officer-in-charge Rolando Ledesma, Justice Secretary De Lima said records show that Garcia is still in the country.

AQUINO GIVEN WRONG INFO ON THE TRIAL OF AFP COMPTROLLER GARCIA: A demurrer to evidence is a pleading filed by an accused after the prosecution completes its presentation of evidence if he thinks that the evidence presented against him is weak. If a court denies the motion, it means that the prosecution's evidence is strong but if the court grants it, it means that the prosecution's evidence is so weak that there is no longer a need for the accused to challenge it. Garcia, records show, did not file such pleading contrary to what Marcelo and Villa-Ignacio have told the President.

MARCELO'S OPEN LETTER TO AQUINO RE GARCIA PLEA DEAL: In his open letter to President Aquino, former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo explains why the plea bargaining agreement between government prosecutors and former Armed Forces of the Philippines comptroller Carlos Garcia "is not justified." During his tenure as Ombudsman, Marcelo built up the case against Gen. Garcia after receiving a tip from the US Customs bureau that the general's sons were apprehended by bureau agents for failing to declare thousands of dollars in cash while entering the United States..."The plea bargain entered into by the Office of the Ombudsman through the Office of the Special Prosecutor with Garcia is illegal and in contravention of law and the Rules of Court."


EX-OMBUDSMAN HITS "GAG ORDER": Former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo assailed the Sandiganbayan's gag order on the Garcia plea bargain agreement, insisting that the deal should be made public since it has already been signed and submitted to the anti-graft court...Marcelo said that before the Office of the Ombudsman signed the plea bargaining agreement, it should have sought the "conformity" of President Benigno Aquino III, who is the commander-in-chief of the military...Marcelo had said in an earlier interview that the government was all set to win the plunder case, including forfeiture of the P303 million, given the strength of the evidence against Garcia.

PRESIDENT'S ALLIES UNHAPPY: President Benigno Aquino III's business allies slammed a plea bargain that allowed a former military comptroller accused of plunder to walk out of detention on bail after pleading guilty to a lesser charge. In a statement, the Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines, both supporters of President Aquino, criticized the secrecy surrounding the plea bargain.

CASE CLOSED?: Garcia case, closed; not even President Aquino can do anything - Enrile

PRESIDENCY NOT GAGGED: Malacañang said that it is not covered by the gag order issued by the Sandiganbayan on the plunder charges against retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia.

SANDIGANBAYAN DELAYS RULING, ISSUES GAG ORDER: The Sandiganbayan has restrained the parties in the plunder case against former military comptroller Carlos Garcia amid the backlash caused by a recent action of the Office of the Ombudsman and its special prosecutors. "It appearing that various unfounded comments have been made that only confuse issues and do not in any way serve the ends of justice, the parties, lawyers and representatives are hereby ordered to refrain from issuing press releases, granting press interviews, and making any commentspending the promulgation [of the decision]," the order from Sandiganbayan 2nd Division read. The gag order was read by Deputy Special Prosecutor Jesus Micael during a press conference at the Office of the Ombudsman. Assistant Ombudsman Jose de Jesus said the office, together with the special prosecutors assigned to the case, will respect the gag order issued despite the criticisms hurled against them. De Jesus said they wanted to set things straight, but would rather respect the rule of law. The Sandiganbayan postponed ruling on the plunder and money laundering cases against Garcia Wednesday morning.

SANDIGANBAYAN TO ISSUE DECISION: The Sandiganbayan second division will decide whether to approve the state prosecutors' deal with Garcia, who had pleaded guilty to the lesser charges of direct bribery and money laundering after being charged with plunder. Garcia agreed to surrender to government half of his assets worth around P300 million. With plunder being a non-bailable offense, the fact that Garcia was allowed to post bail could mean the court's acceptance of the plea bargain deal, a court official earlier said.

DEAL SILL UNDER WRAPS: In a letter sent to the Office of the President, former Tanodbayan Simeon Marcelo and former Special Prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio questioned the role of the Sandiganbayan Second Division in suppressing information about the plea bargaining agreement... Marcelo and Villa-Ignacio said the Office of the Solicitor General has the legal personality to question the validity of the Garcia deal before the Sandiganbayan. They offered their assistance in filing the motion for intervention with a request to annul the plea bargaining deal, as well as doing research and drafting of pleadings. They stressed that those who were involved in negotiating the deal with Garcia and his lawyers should be prosecuted for their "deliberate efforts to thwart and sabotage the government's efforts to stem the tide of corruption."

RAGE RISES: Business groups, the clergy, former soldiers and former prosecutors have added their voice to the growing clamor to undo the plea bargain deal between the anti-graft court's prosecutors and retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia that allowed him to leave his detention cell despite being charged with plunder. The Makati Business Club (MBC) and the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) slammed the deal, saying this could embolden other plunderers to take the same route.

SOLICITOR GENERAL CADIZ: BACK TO JAIL >>> Taking cue from President Benigno S. Aquino III, Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz vowed to do everything possible to put retired Maj. Gen. Carlos F. Garcia back in jail. Cadiz said the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) will soon file before the Sandiganbayan a motion to intervene in Garcia's P303-million plunder case in behalf of the Aquino government. Cadiz said his office will ask the anti-graft court to strike down the plea bargaining agreement between Garcia and the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), the prosecutorial arm of the Office of the Ombudsman. "The instructions of the President are clear; we will try to stop that deal, we will try to undo it," Cadiz said, insisting that the deal between Garcia and the OSP was illegal. "The deal is illegal because there is strong evidence against Gen. Garcia. The deal was made at a time when the case was deep into the trial already," he added.

ENRILE: DEAL CAN'T BE REVERSED: Not even President Benigno Aquino III could seek to reverse the Sandiganbayan's plea bargain decision which allowed former Armed Forces of the Philippines comptroller Carlos Garcia to evade a plunder case over siphoning P300 million in military funds to his personal bank accounts. "(Garcia) has already been arraigned. The prosecutor has dismissed his case because of the plea bargain. You cannot reverse it anymore, the President cannot reverse it," said Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

MARCELO: DEAL CAN BE QUASHED: Former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo said there is still a chance to invalidate the plea deal that prosecutors entered into with former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, even if this has already been approved by the Sandiganbayan...the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) can always point out the loopholes in the plea deal. "Under jurisprudence, the OSG is the tribune of the people. It needs to protect the interest of the nation even if it [the action] is against public officials," he said.

DE LIMA: "COLLUSION": Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the government could file charges against the prosecutors who offered an "illegal and unconscionable" plea bargain that allowed a former military comptroller accused of plunder to walk free on bail Saturday. De Lima said the deal that allowed former military comptroller Carlos Garcia to plead guilty to the lesser charge of direct bribery was "manifestly disadvantageous to the government" and bore "signs of collusion" between the accused and the Office of the Special Prosecutor. "This is a deplorable abdication of their duty to prosecute criminals, especially those who stole from the nations coffers," De Lima said. She said the plea bargain could be the basis for yet another impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who let her prosecutors pursue the deal.

"TAINTED WITH ILLEGALITY": THE Office of the Ombudsman' move to enter into a plea bargain agreement with former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller Carlos Garcia is a "deplorable abdication of its duty" that has put the government at a gross disadvantage and the Aquino administration will not take this sitting down.

PROSECUTORS TOLD TO EXPLAIN DEAL: President Benigno Aquino 3rd was left scratching his head after a former general accused of stealing nearly $7 million struck a deal to serve a short prison term, one of his spokesmen said. President Aquino has asked state prosecutors to explain the plea bargain under which Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, who retired from the military in disrepute and in jail, could be let off with time already served, according to Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda. According to the President, his legal team is reviewing the deal with Garcia and trying to find out legal remedies that are still available to the government. "Again, it's a question of, 'Wait a minute, I thought the case against him was strong, so why did we agree to plea-bargain?'" Lacierda told reporters.

SOLON: PLEA DEAL MAY FUEL COUPS >>> Former senator and current Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon...warned that the government's plea-bargaining agreement with a former general accused of plunder might encourage soldiers to launch coup attempts...Biazon criticized the move of the Office of the Ombudsman to agree to a plea-bargain by former Armed Forces comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, who walked out from detention over the weekend after posting bail. "If this is how the justice system is working in the country, we would not be surprised if there would be more 'Oakwood' incidents," said Biazon, a former military chief of staff...referring to the 2003 "Oakwood mutiny" staged by more than 300 disgruntled soldiers led by then Lt. Sr. Grade now incumbent Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. Collectively known as the Magdalo group, the rebel soldiers took over the Oakwood towers in Makati City to protest alleged government corruption. Biazon said Garcia's case gave credence to the Magdalo soldiers' allegations of corruption in the military.

JUSTICE SECRETARY DE LIMA: PLEA DEAL GROUNDS FOR IMPEACHMENT: The "illegal" plea bargain agreement former Armed Forces comptroller Carlos Garcia entered into with the Office of the Ombudsman could be grounds for the impeachment of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said...the plea bargain that allowed Garcia to post a P60,000 bail last Saturday couldn't have been submitted to the Sandiganbayan without the imprimatur of Gutierrez herself. "I should say that can be a ground, that's betrayal of public trust when you lackadaisically approve deals like that to the detriment of the people, the government then that is betrayal of public trust," De Lima said

OMBUDSMAN UNDER FIRE: Expect more corruption cases against high ranking officials to fizzle out as long as the present Ombudsman, Merceditas Gutierrez, stays in office, a party-list lawmaker warned...Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello issued this warning after government prosecutors forged a plea bargaining agreement with former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, who is accused of plundering more than P300 million from the military's coffers. "This is the problem. We have an Ombudsman in the person of Merceditas Gutierrez who is promoting all of these illegal agreements. We really need to move on corruption. As long as we have the present Ombudsman, it's very hard. Now the people can see the reason why the majority in the House of Representatives is moving to impeach the Ombudsman"

PLEA DEAL MAY IMPERIL U S AID: The plea bargain agreement between state prosecutors and retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia that resulted in his release on Saturday despite a plunder charge against him may imperil US military aid to the Philippines, a military analyst said. "The United States might see us as not being serious in prosecuting the case That we didnt apply the full force of the law on this person It may affect our capacity for further assistance from the US," said Jose Custodio, a curator-consultant at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Museum and former history professor at the University of Asia and the Pacific.

BUSINESSMEN ALARMED: The Makati Business Club (MBC) and the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) expressed alarm Monday on the recent developments in the plunder case involving retired Major General Carlos Garcia... "Four days after the Sandiganbayan approved Mr. Garcia's motion to post bail, the full details of the plea bargain agreement are known only to a few. Such critical details as the amount and form of a supposed financial settlement have not yet been disclosed to the public,"...They urged either the Sandiganbayan or the Ombudsman to complete contents of the plea bargain agreement with the former Armed Forces comptroller amid the significance of the case and its impact on the government's fight against corruption and the prosecution of dishonest public officials. "Beyond the matter of transparency, however, what is truly at issue here is the decision to entertain plea bargain talks in the first place," the MBC and the MAP said. "We concur with the opinion of former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo questioning the prosecutors' move given the legally flawed timing of the plea bargain, the prosecutors' failure to consult the aggrieved parties, and the strong case the government had built against Mr. Garcia." The business groups described as "feeble" and "unsound" the reason given by prosecutors who approved Garcias plea-bargain deal.

GOV'T MULLS ACTION AGAINST OMBUDSMAN PROSECUTORS: The government is mulling legal action against members of the prosecution panel from the Office of the Ombudsman after they agreed to an "illegal and unconscionable" plea bargaining deal that allowed former military comptroller Carlos Garcia who was facing plunder charges to post bail for his liberty. "This is one clear illustration of how anti-corruption efforts of a determined Aquino administration can get easily frustrated or derailed by the half-hearted and less than forthright actions of the very institution constitutionally tasked to put grafters to the bar of justice," Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said. At Malacañang, President Aquino said his legal team is planning its next move on the matter. De Lima said the prosecutors' move was "manifestly disadvantageous to the government" and a "deplorable abdication of their duty to prosecute criminals, especially those who stole from the nation's coffers, to the fullest extent of the law." De Lima said the panel as well as Special Prosecutor Wendell Barreras-Sulit herself "should be held accountable for administrative or criminal offenses they may have committed in entering into the deal."

JUSTICE SECRETARY: PLEA BARGAIN DEAL "ILLEGAL AND UNCONCIONABLE" >>> The plea bargain entered into by former Armed Forces comptroller Carlos Garcia with the Office of the Ombudsman that allowed him to walk free was "illegal and unconscionable," Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on Monday. De Lima said the plea bargain that allowed Garcia to post a P60,000 bail last Saturday is "manifestly disadvantageous" to the government and bears "signs of collusion" between the accused and the Office of the Special Prosecutor, which is under the Office of the Ombudsman. "It is doubtful that it has been entered into solely with the best interest of the country in mind," De Lima said in a statement.

PLEA BARGAIN PROSECUTORS COULD BE FIRED OR CHARGED: President Aquino could fire the special prosecutors or file charges against them for forging a plea bargaining agreement with a newly freed former military comptroller accused of amassing P300 million in ill-gotten wealth, a congressman said...

FORMER MILITARY COMPTROLLER ACCUSED OF MASSIVE CORRUPTION OUT ON BAIL: Retired Maj. Gen. Carlos F. Garcia, whose 2005 arrest was an eye-opener to massive graft and corruption in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), is a free man. This after the Sandiganbayan issued his release order, following his guilty plea to bribery on Thursday. It was a lesser offense to the non-bailable charge of plunder that got him in jail. Garcia, who allegedly amassed over P303-million in illegally acquired wealth while serving as AFP comptroller, posted a P60,000 cash bond to secure his release from the Camp Crame Custodial Center which served as his home for five years now.

EX-GEN. GARCIA WALKS FREE: Retired military general Carlos Garcia, who was accused of pilfering more than P300 million from the military fund, walked out of his detention at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters following a release order by the Sandiganbayan after availing of the plea bargain deal with the government...the Sandiganbayan ordered the release of Garcia after posting P60,000 bail as a result of the plea bargaining wherein he pleaded guilty to lesser offenses of direct bribery and violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Law. Garcia is a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1971 and was about to retire in 2004 when the plunder issue cropped up following the arrest of his two sons in the United States airport for bringing in huge sum of money. The investigation that ensued resulted in the discovery of Garcia's unexplained wealth.

EX-OBUDSMAN SLAMS GARCIA PLEA BARGAIN: Former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo and a reform group criticized state prosecutors for entering into a plea bargaining agreement with ex-military comptroller Major Gen. Carlos Garcia who was facing plunder and money laundering charges. Marcelo said the plea bargaining agreement is "illegal" and "anomalous" since it goes against the interests of the Philippine government, which already stands to win back Garcia's alleged P303 million-worth of illegally acquired assets. The agreement allowed Garcia to enter guilty pleas for the lesser--and bailable--offenses of direct bribery and violation of Section 4-B of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA). Under the rules of court, a plea bargaining agreement may only be entered if the prosecution has not yet started the presentation of evidence. In this case, the prosecution has already completed it. Further, the court has already ruled that the prosecution has presented sufficient evidence to convict Garcia," he said in a text message. The group Pagbabago! People's Movement for Change, meanwhile, said the plea bargain deal is a toleration of military corruption. The group slammed prosecutors' "distorted logic" for claiming that the agreement "saves the government from unnecessary expenditures" and allows it to immediately recover P135 million.

"SOMETHING SUSPICIOUS" - OMBUDSMAN QUESTIONED ON PLEA BARGAIN: Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez should explain why prosecutors struck a deal with retired Major Gen. Carlos Garcia that allowed him to walk out of jail when there was enough evidence to imprison the former military comptroller for plunder, a Malacañang official said. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said all that Malacañang knew was that the plea bargain negotiations, which resulted in Garcia leaving prison after posting a P60,000 bail, happened this year and before President Benigno Aquino III assumed office on June 30. "There's something suspicious. There's something strange here," Valte said



Partner organizations in this website while it was actively publishing news excerpts:


Ehem -- the anti-corruption initiative of the Philippine Jesuits echoes the urgent call for cultural reform against corruption in the Philippines.
Ehem aims at bringing people to a renewed sensitivity to the evil of corruption and its prevalence in ordinary life. It seeks ultimately to make them more intensely aware of their own vulnerability to corruption, their own uncritiqued, often unwitting practice of corruption in daily life.
Ehem hopes to bring people, in the end, to a commitment to live the way of Ehemplo --- critical of corruption, intent on integrity!
Management Association of the Philippines 
MAP is a management organization committed to promoting management excellence. The members of the MAP represent a cross-section of CEOs, COOs and other top executives from the top local and multinational companies operating in the country, including some top officials of government and the academe.

iPro supports the process of reducing corruption by seeking synergies between Government of the Republic of the Philippines agencies and civil society at all levels.

This website primarily serves to gather for research and educational purposes in one single place news and information specifically pertinent to integrity and corruption in the Philippines. The news items, views, editorials and opinions summarized or reported on this website are taken from the general media and reputable blogs, websites, etc., and are exclusively the responsibility of the original sources and/or authors. In accordance with Title 17 U. S. C. Section 107, any copyrighted work on this website is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed an interest in receiving the included information for nonprofit research and educational purposes only. Ref:
                                               E-MAIL:                                       iPro


Free Website Counter
Free Website Counter

tumblr analytics

tumblr tracker