Garcia to stay in Bilibid
MANILA, Philippines - The Sandiganbayan Second Division issued a commitment order against former Armed Forces of the Philippines comptroller Carlos Garcia after the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) reminded the anti-graft court that the detainee's jail term rendered by a court-martial will end on Sept. 15.
The order provides that Garcia will still spend an indefinite time inside prison even after his scheduled release from the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa on Sunday.
Director Franklin Bucayu of the BuCor has informed Associate Justice Teresita Diaz-Baldos, chairman of the Second Division, that Garcia’s sentence for violation of Articles 96 and 97 of the Articles of War will expire on Sunday.
“The court resolves to issue a commitment order for the continued detention of accused Carlos Garcia at the National Bilibid Prison until further orders,” the one-page minute of proceedings read.
Lawyer Jaime Cabrera, clerk of court of Second Division, said the Sheriff Division has already served the commitment order to the NBP.
Sandiganbayan downgraded Garcia’s plunder charge to direct bribery and facilitating money laundering.
It also upheld the plea bargaining agreement between the Office of the Ombudsman and Garcia in exchange for Garcia’s turnover to the government of P135.43 million in assets and allowed him to post bail.
The Supreme Court recently issued a temporary restraining order stopping the Sandiganbayan from sentencing Garcia with his lesser offenses.
The Sandiganbayan invalidated in July the P60,000 bail bond that he posted after the anti-graft court upheld the plea bargaining agreement.
However, the Armed Forces convicted him of violating Articles of War 96 and 97 related to his alleged untruthful declarations in his 2002 and 2003 statements of assets, liabilities and net worth.
Garcia was arrested in September 2011.
Garcia, in a letter, asked the anti-graft court magistrates not to take him from the prison facility where he is presently detained.
He requested the court that “in the event of release,” he still wanted to be inside the NBP so that he may continue his work as a lay minister.