MANILA, Philippines?Former military comptroller Carlos Garcia was mistaken in his claim that state prosecutors had agreed to drop all plunder and money-laundering charges against him and his family if he agreed to a plea bargain, the Office of the Ombudsman said Thursday.
Assistant Ombudsman Jose de Jesus said Garcia?s ?perception??stated in a Dec. 16 motion submitted to the Sandiganbayan 2nd Division?that the prosecution had agreed to terminate all other charges against him and his family in exchange for the plea bargain agreement was ?inaccurate.?
?We maintain our position that the plea bargaining agreement was initiated by the camp of Gen. Garcia. Were it not for the offer, we would not have negotiated with him,? De Jesus said.
Garcia?s Dec. 16 motion sought the dismissal of the charges against his wife, Clarita, and sons Ian Carl, Juan Paulo and Timothy Mark?his co-accused in the plunder and money-laundering case?claiming that according to the deal he made with the state prosecutors if he agreed to the plea bargain, the charges against him and his family would go away.
He also claimed that the signing of the plea bargain agreement would lead to the termination with prejudice of all cases against him and his family. Dismissal with prejudice means that a new case based on similar grounds cannot be refiled.
He further claimed that it was the state prosecutors who had initiated the negotiations for the plea bargain.
State prosecutors Thursday disputed this, claiming that it was Garcia who had sent feelers asking to negotiate a plea bargain.
They said Garcia made the move after the government had traced his wife and children in the United States and requested their extradition.
The prosecution has agreed to enter into a plea bargain with Garcia, saying the charges filed against him were defective.