Thursday, October 21, 2004

NR1021:Ombudsman trial vs Garcia should be prioritized

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin B. Beltran
News Release October 21, 2004
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, chief of staff
SCelphone number 09213907362

Military court trial hearing AFP's Carlos Garcia no longer necessary; after
Congress wraps up its findings, focus of investigations should be at the
Ombudsman's - Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that Malacanang was doing an
'overkill' on the corruption issue involving former Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) comptroller Gen. Carlos Garcia by ordering a military court
trial against him, apart from the ongoing investigations of Congress and the
charges filed at the Office of the Ombudsman.

Beltran said that there should be focus in the investigations against Garcia,
and the focus should be at the Office of the Ombudsman. He said that the
findings of the Congressional investigations should be immediately taken into
account and that the Committee in charge should make recommendations regarding
Garcia and the accusations against him.

"There is sufficient evidence Garcia - and he himself knows that if he opens his
mouth he will be crucifying himself and more importantly , his cohorts. It has
become apparent that he has not acted on his own and that he is not the only
one in the AFP who has accumulated millions of ill-gotten wealth. By not
speaking up, Garcia is not only protecting himself - he is protecting his
partners in crime and their respective offices," he said.

The veterab labor leader said that since Congress cannot compel Garcia to answer
crucial questions, the logical next step would be to take him to the Office of
the Ombudsman and have him immediately tried by the proper criminal and
judicial authorities. "Otherwise the investigations will just be going around
in circles - Garcia will just continue to cite his right to protect himself
from self-incrimination," he said.

"All this is beginning to smell strongly of delaying tactics. The longer Garcia
is able to stall his interlocutors and hinder the process of investigations,
the greater the chances that he and his partners and cohorts will be able to
cover their tracks and destroy the paper trail of their corrupt dealings," he

"There should be focus. There is no more need for a court martial or a public
trial. What is severely needed here is strong and genuine political will on
the part of Malacanang and the Ombudsman 's to get to the root of the case and
expose Garcia and whoever else he is protecting through his silence and
essential refusal to cooperate," he concluded.#


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