Senator Chiz Escudero disagreed with the Sandiganbayan ruling declaring ex-military comptroller Carlos Garcia’s plea bargain deal agreement legal and above board.
“I do not think the plea bargain should have been approved. The magnitude of Garcia’s trespasses against foot soldiers and against every tax-paying Filipino cannot be discounted just like that. He belongs in jail, both him and the likes of Gen. Ligot who raped not only the military coffer but its system even more,” Escudero said.
Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, is now urging the Department of Justice and the incoming Ombudsman to pursue the case based on the evidence gathered from a series of Senate inquiries.
“I am extremely disappointed with this decision. I, together with 83 percent Filipinos surveyed by Pulse Asia, strongly believe that they should be tried and be made to pay for their crimes,” the senator stressed.
Escudero maintained that Garcia has no power to give by way of a compromise agreement or plea bargain any of the assets he purportedly surrendered because he could not explain the source of his wealth.
“Again, what are we really after? Prosecute and send thieves to jail as a way of telling those with evil intents that we mean business in implementing the letters of our laws or recover money, no matter how miniscule it is. We have to draw the line as to what our priority is,” Escudero explained.
Escudero is also putting the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to task to appeal the ruling and the denial of its intervention.
The OSG had earlier asked the Sandiganbayan to set aside the deal entered into by the Office of the Ombudsman and Garcia.