Press Release
January 19, 2011

Sen. Chiz' interpellation on Gen. Garcia's case

... Mr. Garcia he was declared in default and that therefore government was on the way to winning the cases against him. In a forfeiture case, Mr. President all these assets would have been confiscated in favor of the State simply because he cannot explain the source of his wealth, there being the case, Mr. President, Gen. Garcia cannot even deem nor does he has the power to give by way of a compromise agreement or free bargain any of the assets he purportedly will surrender by virtue of the free bargaining arrangement. Second, Mr. President, your honor, on the free bargain itself, the client of the prosecutors will be the State, specifically the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and this case, Mr. President, I know for a fact the Armed Forces of the Philippines was not informed, was not notified and therefore could not have possibly given its consent to this free bargain agreement purportedly entered into between the accused and the Office of the Ombudsman or the prosecutors. In fact this is the ground upon which the Office of the Solicitor General based its argument in questioning the validity of the free bargain deal proposed by the Office of the Ombudsman and supposedly approved already by the Sandiganbayan. And as the last point, Mr. President, your honor, I said earlier I joined Senator Arroyo in asking a basic policy question, ano ba talaga ang habol natin, makapagpakulong ng magnanakaw para magsilbing leksyon sa iba o habol ba natin ay makalikom ng pera kahit kaunti man lang doon sa ninakaw niya para magkaroon ng pera ang kaban ng bayan. Mr. President I think the executive already made clear its position, when the President instructed the Solicitor General to intervene and question the free bargaining arrangement entered into in the Sandiganbayan between the accused and the Office of the Ombudsman the policy laid down by the executive was clear, hindi hinahabol na makuha lamang ang pera o portion ng pera dahil mas madali ito kung makikipagkasundo, ang habol nila mapakulong at ipakulong ang nagkasala para magsilbing aral at pananda sa mga susunod pa sa kanyang nagbabalak sigurong nag-iisip na tularan si Gen. Garcia. The Office of the Ombudsman, Mr. President, is an independent constitutional commission agency over which the executive branch has no control over and I think the question should also be asked of the Office of the Ombudsman, what is there policy with respect to the prosecution of cases pending before the Sandiganbayan and being handled by it, ang polisiya ba ng tanggapan ng Ombudsman usigin, pakulong at papanagutin ang mga mga nagkasala o kasama ba sa trabaho nila at mas importante sa kanila ang mabawi ang anumang nanakaw para magkaroon ng pera ang kaban ng bayan. I addressed that question to them, Mr. President, your honor. Thank you.

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