You are on page 1of 4

Republic of the Philippines

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Quezon City

FIFTEENTH CONGRESS
First Regular Session

HOUSE RESOLUTION No. 1237

_____________________________________________________________________________
_
Introduced by Reps. TEDDY A. CASIÑO, NERI JAVIER COLMENARES,
LUZVIMINDA C. ILAGAN, RAFAEL V. MARIANO, RAYMOND V.
PALATINO,
EMMI A. DE JESUS and ANTONIO L. TINIO
_____________________________________________________________________________
_

RESOLUTION
CONDEMNING THE SANDIGANBAYAN DECISION APPROVING THE
PLEA BARGAINING AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE OFFICE OF THE
OMBUDSMAN AND RETIRED MAJOR GENERAL CARLOS GARCIA, AND
STRONGLY URGING THE SANDIGANBAYAN SECOND DIVISION
JUSTICES TO RESIGN FROM THEIR POSTS

WHEREAS, the Constitution mandated the Sandiganbayan to give life to the


fundamental principle that public office is a public trust, through the
prosecution of civil and criminal cases involving graft and corrupt practices
and other offenses committed by public officers;

WHEREAS Major General Carlos F. Garcia and former Ombudsman Ma.


Merceditas Navarro-Gutierrez struck a plea bargain agreement where the
People of the Philippines shall withdraw the charge of Plunder in exchange
for a guilty plea for the lesser offense of Direct Bribery;

WHEREAS, because of the deal submitted to the Sandiganbayan for


approval, Major General Garcia was allowed to walk out of his Camp Crame
detention cell on bail of P60,000 on December 18 last year, two days after he
pleaded guilty to direct bribery during his rearraignment for that lesser
offense;

WHEREAS, the Sandiganbayan Second Division unanimously, but


suspiciously and hastily, approved on May 9, 2011 the plea bargain
agreement. It previously denied Garcia’s Petition for Bail on the charge of
plunder, thereby declaring that the evidence of guilt was strong. However, it
justified its latest decision to approve the plea bargain by declaring that the
prosecution’s evidence was weak;
WHEREAS, the Sandiganbayan’s decision is prejudicial to the interest of the
Filipino people. Just like the former Ombudsman Navarro-Gutierrez who was
impeached by the Filipino people for betraying the public trust, the
Sandiganbayan also betrayed their constitutional mandate and the public’s
trust;

WHEREAS, the Sandiganbayan justices cannot play deaf and blind to the
fact that Ombudsman Navarro-Gutierrez was impeached by the House of
Representatives for betraying the public trust by her gross, inexcusable, in
fact deliberate inaction and whitewashing of big-time cases involving
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her high civilian and military officials,
including entering into disadvantageous plea bargain agreements;

WHEREAS, by suspiciously and hastily approving this plea bargain


agreement, the Sandiganbayan deliberately refused to recognize not only
the Ombudsman’s impeachment but the following publicly known legislative
and executive acts:

1. The House of Representatives and the Senate conducted separate


public hearings which unearthed irregularities in the plea
bargaining agreement conducted by the Office of the Special
Prosecutor and the Ombudsman and strong evidence to support a
plunder case against Gen. Garcia, which forced Ombudsman
Gutierrez to commit to review the plea bargain agreement.
2. The House and the Senate also came out with reports and
resolutions finding irregularities in the plea bargain agreement and
strongly recommending its withdrawal.
3. Ombudsman Gutierrez has resigned and a new Ombudsman will
soon be appointed by Pres. Benigno Aquino.

WHEREAS, the Sandiganbayan also committed a sin of commission when it


unjustifiably denied the motions filed by the Office of the Solicitor General
(OSG) seeking to intervene in the case so that it could ask for the recall of
the plea bargain, and calling for Presiding Justice Edilberto Sandoval to
inhibit from the case, as it practically prevented a serious intervenor from
interceding on behalf of the offended party, namely the Armed Forces the
Philippines and the state as a whole;

WHEREAS, the Sandiganbayan’s decision to approve the plea bargain


agreement offends the most basic principles of justice, fairness, and decency
by virtually condoning the numerous acts of plunder committed by Maj.
General Garcia. It grossly undermines any genuine effort to combat graft and
corruption in public service;

WHEREAS, the Sandiganbayan’s decision encourages big time corruption


and plunder and further institutionalizes impunity, sending the signal to
unscrupulous government officials to steal big so that they can enter a
similar agreement and get away with plunder;

WHEREAS, the Sandiganbayan justices acted as if to preempt the incoming


Ombudsman, who may seriously reconsider the plea bargain and withdraw
the agreement. The Sandiganbayan preempted any effort by the incoming
Ombudsman to remedy the mistakes of the former Ombudsman;
WHEREAS, the Sandiganbayan justices have thereby betrayed their
Constitutionally mandated duty to give life and meaning to the constitutional
precept that a public office is a public trust and to impress upon public
officers and employees that they are at all times accountable to the people
with their duty to serve with the highest degree of responsibility, integrity,
loyalty and efficiency;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives to


condemn the Sandiganbayan decision upholding the plea bargain
agreement of former AFP comptroller Major General Carlos F. Garcia, and
strongly urge the Sandiganbayan Second Division justices, namely Presiding
Justice Edilberto Sandoval, Justice Teresita Diaz Baldoz and Justice Samuel
Martirez, to resign from their posts.

Adopted,
TEDDY A. CASIÑO NERI JAVIER COLMENARES
Bayan Muna Party-list Bayan Muna
Party-list

LUZVIMINDA C. ILAGAN RAFAEL V.


MARIANO
Gabriela Women’s Party Anakpawis
Party-list

RAYMOND V. PALATINO ANTONIO L. TINIO


Kabataan Party-list ACT Teachers
Party-list

EMMI A. DE JESUS
Gabriela Women’s Party