PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — THE Office of the Ombudsman yesterday vowed to exhaust all legal remedies to reverse the ruling of Sandiganbayan’s First Division which acquitted former military comptroller Carlos Garcia of a perjury charge.
OMB Prosecuting Team head Director Diosdado Calonge said that Garcia can not yet claim victory since they would be exhausting all legal remedies to secure a conviction of Garcia in said case.
The OMB prosecuting team handling the case of Garcia made the reaction after Sandiganbayan First Divisiob Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo acquitted him since the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the retired major general willfully and unlawfully underdeclared the amounts of his family’s three vehicles in his 1997 Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
In his 1997 SALN, Garcia declared that he only has a total of P870,000 worth of vehicles.
However, in the information filed against Garcia, the OMB prosecutors alleged that he owns a Toyota Previa (UDS-195) valued at P521,797; Mitsubishi L-300 Van de Luxe (FDZ-582) valued at P424,583; and 1997 Honda Civic (FEC-134) valued at P564,000 or a total of P1,510,380.
But the first division said that of the three vehicles in question, only the Toyota car was purchased under the name of Garcia while the two vehicles are under the name of his wife, Clarita, who is also facing charges.
For her part, Assistant Special Prosecutor III Ma. Janina Hidalgo, a member of the team, said “we will file the necessary pleadings to appeal the case.” Aside from Hidalgo, Assistant Special Prosecutor III Paz Judith Buco-Mate is also a member of the team.
Garcia was earlier found guilty by the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division for making untruthful declarations in his 2000 SALN. The court meted him one year to two years imprisonment.