Ex-judge who OKd Garcia deal vies to be Ombudsman prosecutor | Inquirer News

Ex-judge who OKd Garcia deal vies to be Ombudsman prosecutor

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 05:10 PM May 23, 2017
In this July 15, 2011 file photo, retired Sandinganbayan justice Edilberto Sandoval (left), then justice assistant secretary Gregory Sy and former Supreme Court Justice Adolf Azcuna join the experts' meeting to review the Philippines' criminal code. (Photo from the official website of the Department of justice at https://www.doj.gov.ph/criminal-code-committee.html)

In this July 15, 2011 file photo, retired Sandinganbayan justice Edilberto Sandoval (left), then justice assistant secretary Gregory Sy and former Supreme Court Justice Adolf Azcuna (right) join the experts’ meeting to review the Philippines’ criminal code. (Photo from the official website of the Department of Justice at https://www.doj.gov.ph/criminal-code-committee.html)

MANILA — A retired chief of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan, who had approved the contentious plea bargain deal with former military comptroller Carlos Garcia, now wants to become the government’s top anti-graft prosecutor.

Former Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Edilberto Sandoval is among the 10 legal heavyweights vying to become the next special prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman, replacing Wendell Barreras-Sulit, who bowed out of the service two months ago.

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His role in the controversial Garcia plea bargain deal may be brought up as Sandoval and the other applicants face the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) in a series of public interviews starting Wednesday (May 24).

Sandoval retired from the judiciary in 2011 after serving in the anti-graft court for 15 years.

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In 2012, Sulit was dismissed from government service by then President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III after she entered into a compromise deal with Garcia regarding his P303-million plunder case.

Interestingly, it was Sandoval who headed the anti-graft court’s Second Division which approved the P135.4-million plea bargain agreement between Garcia and the government prosecutors.

Last year, the Court of Appeals upheld the legality of Garcia’s plea bargain and ordered Sulit’s reinstatement as Ombudsman special prosecutor.

In a notice to the public, the JBC said those opposing the application of Sandoval and the others should submit sworn complaints, report or written opposition.

Besides the retired Sandiganbayan justice, also applying for the post are former Commission on Elections chief counsel Ferdinand Rafanan, acting Ombudsman Special Prosecutor Omar Sagadal and Judge Benjamin Pozon of the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 139.

Completing the list of candidates are former Ombudsman prosecution bureau chief Diosdado Calonge, Polytechnic University of the Philippines law professor Arnold Bayobay, former Ombudsman for Mindanao lawyer Eusebio Avila and lawyers Francisco Alan Molina, Raymundo Julio Olaguer and Vernand Quijano.  SFM/rga

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TAGS: Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, Carlos Garcia, Carlos Garcia plea bargain deal, corruption, Court of Appeals, dismissal from service, Edilberto Sandoval, former presidents, Graft, Judicial and Bar Council, Office of the Ombudsman, Ombudsman special prosecutor, Plea Bargain Deal, Plunder, Prosecution, quasi-judicial bodies, reinstatement, retired Sandiganbayan justices, vetting of nominees to the Office of the Ombudsman special prosecutor, Wendell Barreras-Sulit
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