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Philippine: New Ombudsman personally reviews Garcia plea bargain
Publicado el August 16, 2011

GMA News.- Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales is taking a crack at the plea bargain agreement that her predecessor, Ma. Merceditas Gutierrez, had entered into with dismissed former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Comptroller Carlos F. Garcia regarding plunder and money laundering charges against him and his family. Morales told Sandiganbayan Second Division that she is personally reviewing trial records of both cases against Garcia, his wife Clarita and sons Ian Carl, Juan Paulo and Timothy Mark. She asked the anti-graft court to give her office 15 days to submit a position paper after going over the evidence, pleadings and transcripts of hearings.The government’s chief anti-graft buster said she needed time to consider the “complex or double-edged" issues of the plea bargain.

“One of the challenging issues in the present case which commands her attention is the propriety or legality of the issue of the forging of the Plea Bargaining Agreement between the prosecution and the accused," reads one of the statements of the Ombudsman’s four-page motion. Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Teresita V. Diaz-Baldos penned the May 19 decision that upheld the plea bargain after finding as “deficient" the evidence against the Garcia family for charges of plunder and money laundering which supposedly made conviction “questionable and shaky." Then Second Division Chair, (now retired) Presiding Justice Edilberto Sandoval and Associate Justice Samuel R. Martires concurred. Upon Sandoval’s retirement last July 20, Baldos became chairperson of the Second Division.

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