justice philippine style

December 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm 4 comments


general carlos garcia – philippine star photo

it’s been said that the truth shall make you free, but it doesn’t always hold water. history is flooded with instances where it failed miserably. back in the old days, it didn’t help former priest and philosopher giordano bruno. he wouldn’t go with the lie that the earth was flat as the church declared. as a result, the inquisition put him in jail and burned him at the stake and his tongue pierced with an iron spike for standing up for the truth.

the lesson must have skipped mrs. clarita depakakibo garcia when she tried to recover the $100,000 that was seized from her sons who failed to declare it upon arriving at the san francisco international airport in 2003.

in her sworn statement to the us immigration and customs enforcement officials, mrs. garcia didn’t mince words about the source of the money. here are excerpts from what she said, read it in its entirety at jarius bondoc’s column (More plunder admissions from Gen. Garcia’s wife , philippine star, dec. 27):

My family has an 80% interest in the two corporations and we may earn a monthly income equivalent to $8,000. The daycare school brings in more money, perhaps $10,000 per month. However, based on the Philippine tax laws regarding both the corporations and daycare school, we are allowed to declare zero income. The income received from these businesses was not reported as a basis for tax liability.

My husband Carlos Garcia (Two Star General in the Armed Forces) was assigned to the Comptrollers Office until April 4, 2004. He receives a salary that is declared as income for tax purposes. Carlos receives travel money and expenses in excess of several thousands of dollars. I often travel with my husband on business and my travel, expenses and shopping money in excess of US$10,000 to $20,000 is provided to me. He also receives cash for travel and expenses from the businesses that are awarded contracts for military hardware. These businesses are in Europe and Asia. He also receives gifts and gratitude money from several Philippine companies that are awarded military contracts to build roads, bridges and military housing.

The expense money, gratitude money and shopping money is not declared as income.

general garcia’s superiors and fellow officers must have been taken aback by mrs. garcia’s candor and honesty. she put the cat out of the bag. she revealed their modus operandi on getting rich in the military at the expense of the soldiers who risk their lives and limbs in preserving the status quo. at least, she was discrete in not naming names as her husband couldn’t do it by himself alone. the rumor has it that the serial numbers of the confiscated money belonged to the anti-terrorism fund given by the us government to the philippines.

nonetheless, the declaration has come back to haunt her. it has brought mrs. garcia and her sons more legal troubles than they had bargained for. it has also strengthened the case of plunder and money laundering against her husband. mrs. garcia and her sons are now in the process of being extradited to the philippines to face similar charges. general garcia and his family are alleged to have amassed over P300 million in unexplained wealth while he was serving in the military.

if there’s a silver lining, it’s the fact that the philippine justice system usually favors the privileged and well-connected people like general garcia and family. isn’t it just recently when the general was freed on bail after pleading guilty to the lesser charges of bribery and money laundering and promising to return part of the loot to the government? trust me, he won’t see the inside of the jail again. as things go, it won’t be long when mrs. garcia and her sons follow in his footsteps and laugh their way to the bank.

giordano bruno told the truth and horribly died for it. it was his fate to be born at the wrong time and place.

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Entry filed under: Blogroll, commentary, filipino, philippines. Tags: , , , , , , .

12 days before christmas happy new year 2011

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shumai  |  January 1, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Most damaging Mrs. Garcia’s sworn statement might be, it cannot be used against Ex-General Garcia. It’s based on the common law that the accused cannot be his own witness and neither can his wife. In general, the law treats husband and wife as one person.

    Reply
    • 2. plaridel  |  January 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      shumai:

      the document itself may not be acceptable as evidence in the plunder case, but it does prove general garcia’s wrongdoing. it should have helped the prosecutors to dig deeper and nail the general once and for all. it’s a total copout for them to accept a plea deal.

      Reply
  • 3. JR  |  January 3, 2011 at 3:53 am

    The Ombudsman got it right. There was no plunder. He was guilty of accepting bribes, money laundering and tax evasion.

    Reply
    • 4. jr  |  January 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      jr:

      i’m not a lawyer, but i’m thinking that accepting bribes and kickbacks constitutes plunder. it’s like robbing peter to pay paul. companies who practice it are no fools. every cent that goes to paying unscrupulous people like general garcia in order to win in the bidding process is charged back to the military through accounting hocus pocus. as a result, all the monies that he and his wife received from these companies are stolen public funds.

      Reply

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