Press Release
February 24, 2011

Transcript of Press Conference of Senator TG Guingona III
after the Blue Ribbon Hearing

STG: As you've seen in the hearing, the highlight was that we were able to show that the Special Prosecutors were grossly negligent in allowing the plea bargain and arraignment of General Garcia. Sa tingin ng Senado ay kinakailangan na ma-withdraw na itong plea bargain agreement sapagkat hindi lang ang Senador ang mga nagsasabi nito pati na ang mga deans ng mga law school. Sumulat na sila Dean Amado Valdez at Dean Marvic Leonen ng UP College of Law at 'yung mga ibang dean ay susulat pa din. Hindi lang po ang Senado at tingin ko pati ang taumbayan na din ang nagsasabi na hindi makatarungan itong plea bargain at dapat mapawalang bisa ito.

Q: Mayroon bang pangako from the Office of the Ombudsman, Special Prosecutor na gagawan nila ng paraan?

STG: Ang pangako nila ay magkakaroon ng desisyon next hearing at we do recognized naman na hindi sila ang puwede magdesisyon alone, kailangan kasama ang Ombudsman. But they did promise that within a week they will have a decision. I hope they make this decision since we're already in the process of making the initial committee report and if they withdraw the plea bargain agreement then there is no need for a committee report on that issue.

Q: On Yambao.

STG: Si General Ligot said in the hearing that he will bring them- Mrs. Ligot and Mr. Yambao, of course subject to the health condition of Mrs. Ligot . As far as Mr. Yambao, I don't see any problem. Sagot na ni General Ligot 'yun.

Q:On same law firm ng mga Ligot at ni Yambao.

STG: That is an interesting point but there's nothing illegal also at the same time no rule is broken. Anybody can be a lawyer of anybody but that is an interesting point.

Q: On the prosecutors.

STG: Under the law ,they can pursue the gross negligence case administratively or the Office of the President of the Philippines. It is used to be under the PAGC but now it is under the Deputy Executive Secretary . If I am not mistaken. It is within the Office of the President .

Q: The Office of the President can prosecute the prosecutors?

STG: We can make an administrative proceedings against them.

Q: Who ?

STG: All those named. All the prosecutors.

Q: For what?

STG: I think we can put it as gross negligence.

Q: Kailangan ba ng formal communication from the Senate para umaksiyon ang Malacanang?

STG: They can do it with themselves but I think it would be best if we finalized and finished this proceedings. But yes they can proceed by themselves.

Q: Hinihimok mo ba sila na kasuhan?

STG: I would like to put everything in the committee report muna eh bago natin ipalabas.

Q: Under what authority?

STG: There is no legal authority . It is more on the public pressure. Public opinion is obviously turning against them. Hindi puwede na manhid ang isang opisina sa opinyon ng taumbayan.

Q: Regarding watch list. Who will watch?

STG: That's the Bureau of Immigration because that is the agency in charge of monitoring the incoming and outgoing of people at the ports.

Q: Sino po 'yung under sa watch list?

STG: Mr. Yambao , Mrs. Ligot and General Ligot.

Q: Ano ang punishment sa mga prosecutors?

STG: The most is that they can be fired . There can also be criminal proceedings against them under the anti-graft for going into agreement that are manifestly unjust to the government.

Q: Would you recommend that the Special Prosecutors should be fired by PNoy now?

STG: Yes, but they have to undergo due process also. Notice must be given to them. They should have a chance to be heard so that due process will be followed.

Q: Who would investigate them?

STG: I think the Office of the President.

Q: How about the ombudsman?

STG: The Ombudsman can do it, the Office of the President can do it also.

Q: Dapat mag inhibit si Ombudsman Guttierez?

STG: We don't know whether they will investigate. We're already presupposing na mag-iimbestiga sila pero hindi tayo sigurado na mag-iimbestiga sila. Pati 'yung Office of the President. Wala pa naman word 'yun. Lumabas lang 'yun ngayon. Ang pinaka-importante muna para sa amin , kaysa 'yung mga prosecution ng gross negligence, ay mapawalang bias itong plea bargain agreement. Sapagkat naisahan ang taumbayan dito at hindi dapat natin payagan ang taumbayan na malugi dito. Hindi ito agreement eh. Ayusan hindi kasunduan.

Q: Double jeopardy principle has already set in. Ano ang effect noon sa kaso?

STG: That means that Garcia can no longer be charged for the same offense. Pero mayroon na nagsasabi at kasama din ako doon na kahit may double jeopardy null and void kasi iyon. Walang bisa ang plea bargaining agreement mula sa simula. Balewala lahat iyan sapagkat illegal at labag sa batas 'yung plea bargain agreement.

Q: Mahina yung kaso na sinampa ni Ombudsman Marcelo?

STG: I would not like to comment on that. The main issue here is the plea bargain agreement. Whether we allow General Garcia to put one over the Filipino people . This should not be allowed and that should be withdrawn by the Office of the Ombudsman. All other issues are side issues. As long as we take care of the main issue which is the plea bargain agreement then I would be very satisfied.

Q: On manifestation filed at Sandiganbayan by the Office of the Ombudsman

STG: I think they did file a manifestation already. If my memory serves me right, they did already. Hold in abeyance. But now what we are asking na huwag ng mag hold in abeyance. I-withdraw na, sapagkat mali 'yung plea bargaing agreement na 'yan.

Q: Sabi ni Heidi kasama sa ayusan ang mga Justices.

STG: That is something that has to be threshed out. Heidi Mendoza said that but Capistrano also denied it . That is a he said she said kind of argument.

Q: Kaso ni Ligot may magagawa pa ba ang Ombudsman?

STG: Wala pang plunder case eh. Puwede pa makasuhan. Yan ang isang malaking butas pa. Again, let's deal with Garcia first before we go to Ligot.

Q: Hearing sa hospital?

STG: Tignan muna natin kung ano sasabihin ng doctor.

Q: Next hearing?

STG: We will announce it.

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