Prosecutor sabit sa Garcia plea bargaining agreement- Miriam

Malaki ang paniniwala ni Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago na sasabit ang prosecution panel na pumayag sa plea bargaining agreement ni dating AFP comptroller ex-Major Gen. Carlos Garcia dahil malakas ang nakikita nitong ebidensiya sa kasong pandarambong o plunder.

Ayon kay Santiago, dating hukom sa Regional Trial Court, na alinsunod sa Revise Penal Code, maaaring kasuhan ng krimen na negligence and Tolerance sa Prosecution of Offenses kung mapatutunayan na kumilos silang may malisya at tahasang intension na paburan si Garcia sa plea bargaining agreement.

Sinabi pa ni Santiago na pinatutungkulan ng Penal Code ang isang prosecutor na kung nalalaman nitong malakas ang ebidensiya laban sa isang akusado na makasasapat na mapanatunayan ang kaso sa korte, ngunit ibinasura ito upang paburan ang kriminal.

“It appears that the whole country, except Garcia and the prosecutors, believe that the evidence against Garcia for plunder is strong,” ayon kay Santiago.

“How can a soldier who earns P37,000 a month plus allowances amass some P90 million in his private peso accounts and almost $1.9 million in his private dollar accounts in just five years, from 1999 to 2004? Did he win the lotto?” dagdag ni Santiago.

Ipinaliwanag pa ni Santiago na masyadong nakapanghihinala ang pangyayaring “walang nakitang malakas na ebidensiya” ang prosekusyon sa kasong pandarambong laban kay Garcia dahil sapat nang maisakdal ang akusado kung may pattern ng criminal acts.

“The anti-plunder act provides that it is not necessary to prove each and every criminal act, and proof of a mere pattern of criminal acts is enough. Thus, there seems to be no basis for the prosecution’s findings that evidence against Garcia is insufficient,” paliwanag ng dating hukom.

Kahit hindi nakadalo sa ginanap na pagdinig ng Senate Blue Ribbon nitong Huwebes, tinukoy naman ni Santiago ang court ruling noong 2001 sa Estrada v. Sandiganbayan .

“What the prosecution needs to prove beyond reasonable doubt is only a number of acts sufficient to form a combination or series which would constitute a pattern and involving an amount of at least P50 million.  There is no need to prove each and every other act alleged in the Information to have been committed by the accused in furtherance of the overall unlawful scheme or conspiracy to amass, accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth,” giit niya. Ernie Reyes

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