Sandiganbayan: Garcia plea bargain deal is legal, must surrender properties to GovPH

Trump Tower, New York
The Sandiganbayan ruled that former Armed Forces of the Philippines comptroller, General Carlos Garcia’s plea bargain deal is legal. According to Newsbreak‘s sources, the second division led by Justice Edelberto Sandoval dismissed the motion filed by the Solicitor general, and rejects the findings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee which was investigating the case. The motion by the Solictor General sought to disapprove the deal that Garcia entered with the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

The Sandiganbayan is a special court created by the 1973 Constitution that has jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases involving graft and corruption in government.

According to the decision, the plea bargain allowed General Garcia to withdraw his “Not Guilty,” plea, which he entered in Criminal Case No. 28107. This is the case for Plunder. In exchange for this, General Garcia now enters a guilty plea to a lesser offense, which is Indirect Bribery under Article 211, paragraph 1 of the revised penal code. This offense, according to the decision is “necessarily included in Plunder, with admission of the facts constituting the lesser offense.”

Also included in the plea bargain is Garcia’s withdrawal of his “Guilty,” plea, which he gave in SB-09-CRM-0194, and entering a guilty plea to the lesser offense of “Facilitating Money Laundering,” under Section 4 (b) of R.A. No. 9160, which again, according to decision is included in the offense charged under Information for Money Laundering.

What this means, General Garcia shall transfer, convey, cede, surrender to the Philippines, his ownership, and all the rights and interests he has over PHP 135.4 million worth of properties, cash and stocks, including his Trump Tower property:

A. Province of Iloilo
1. TCT 178262, PHP9.7 million
2. TCT 170611, PHP591,360.00
3. TCT 170410, PHP456,610.00

B. Guimaras
1. TCT 177677, PHP65,372.80
2. TCT 14563, PHP100,000.00

C. Batangas
1. TCT 91252, PHP3.081 million
2. TCT 14563, PHP100,000.00

D. Baguio
1. TCT 72565, PHP1.4 million
2. TCT 72208, PHP1.4 million

E. New York, USA
1. Trump Park Avenue Condominium, US$ 765,000.00

F. Personal properties
1. 2003 Honda CRV Cr. No. 7123916 of LTO Iloilo, PHP976,000.00
2. 1993 Toyota Previa with Plate No. UDS 195 with Chassis No. JT3AC12R8P1117038, PHP521,797.00
3. 1997 Mitsubishi L300 van, Plate no. FDZ 582, CR. no. 36637091, PHP424,583.00
4. 1997 Honda Civic Plate No. FEC 134 with Chassis No. phso4 3b9946, Cr. No. 40076155 of LTO Iloilo, PHP564,000.00
5. 2001 Toyota RAV 4 with CR no. 61545497, PHP1.365 million
6. 1995 Toyota Coaster Bus with Plate No. CSK 605, PHP375,000.00
7. 1995 Isuzu Elf with plate no. CNY 179 with CR No. 54301814 of LTO Angeles City, PHP190,000.00

G. IJT Caregiver, Inc.
Ian Carl, 10,000 shares
Juan Paulo, 10,000 shares

H. Shares of stock in IJT Katamnan Corp.,
Ian Carl, 3,000 shares

I. Cash and Money in Banks (frozen/attached as of 15 October 2004)
1. Bank of the Philippine Islands, US$ 53,799.20, PHP 50,224.55
2. Banco de Oro, US$ 0.69, PHP2,725.10
3. Land Bank of the Philippines US$ 674,286.43, PHP 6,641,451.19
4. Planters Development Bank, PHP8,721.66
5. AFPSLAI, PHP 4.736 million

J. Cash in US Banks
1. Citibank Account No. 80606060, US$201,166.08 (at 56.412 per US$ = PHP11.4 million)
2. Citibank Account No. 500228358, US$44,354.86 (at 56.412 per US$ = PHP2.5 million)

Grand total amount that General Garcia and his family must return to the Philippines is PHP135,433,387.84.

This is Sandiganbayan’s Carlos Garcia Sandiganbayan plea bargain decision (PDF).

Photo credit: Wikipedia, some rights reserved

Cocoy Dayao

Cocoy is the Chief Technology Officer of Lab Rats Technica, a Digital Consulting company that specialises in DevOps, iOS, and Web Apps, E-Commerce sites, Cybersecurity and Social Media consulting. He is a technology enthusiast, political junkie and social observer who enjoys a good cup of coffee, comic books, and tweets as @cocoy on twitter.

Cocoy is also the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the ProPinoy Project.

Cocoy considers himself to be Liberal.

  • J_ag8

    Raj Ratnarajam was found guilty of insider trading in the U.S. He could spend the rest of his life in jail. This was for a crime most people do not understand.

    Here the State that acts like a beggar forgets that the primary role of the implementation and enforcement of law is deterrence. Garcia stole hundreds of millions. The State apparently does not have the power to investigate in spite of hundreds of millions worth of smoking guns.

    Why did the U.S. spend billions of dollars in their war on terror. Deterrence.

    For too long the impotent state has been unable to deter criminality and corruption so much so that the culture itself has been twisted to accept it as the norm of human behavior.

    In the Philippines breaking the law is the way of life. However as the son of Singson found out in other countries the norm is the opposite. That is why P.inoys are mostly law abiding in other countries but at home that laws are not enforced.

    On this one point I suggest to the Pesident to put as much resources both human and material in jailing not a person from the previous administration but one from his own supporters.

    Societal development is strategically dependent on a level playing field in economics and politics.

    Trust is only achieved through an effective deterrence system practiced by the State. Without it there is no state.

    • UP nn grad

      Jag_8’s point makes sense. Vendetta and vindictiveness is how a few Pinoys (and non-Pinoys) will interpret jailing the enemies of the sitting President. “Daang matuwid” is finding corruption by members of the current administration, charging them / convicting them/jailing them.

      What still is not known about Noynoy-administration — how many convictions will actually come out from these “… charges”-pogi-points.

      Having said above sentence — BIR Commissioner Henares deserves applause and kudos — BIR team bringing income tax evasion charges — good work. Now it is up to deLima / justice team to transform the charges to convictions. Baka naman “por nada”… eh masama iyan. Por nada.