De Lima slams Ombudsman over Garcia tack

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 02 2011 07:46 PM | Updated as of Feb 03 2011 04:12 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has criticized the Office of the Ombudsman for saying in a congressional hearing on Tuesday that a statement by the wife of former military comptroller retired Major General Carlos Garcia was not enough evidence to pin the Garcia family for alleged pocketing of millions in military funds.

De Lima expressed support to former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo's opinion that Clarita Garcia's statement may be used in the plunder case against the couple and their sons.

"Puwede iyun kasi that's a statement of a co-conspirator. And yung sinasabi na, 'statement lang yun' at wala daw si Mrs. Garcia so how can she be confronted, kailangan ma-test ang kanyang credibility by presenting her in court. Kaya nga may extradition proceedings. Why aren't they working on the extradition proceedings?" de Lima told media in an ambush interview on Wednesday.

"Ang nakakalungkot diyan, naging kondisyon lang pala ito, that's according to the legal attaché of the US embassy, na naging kondisyon pa nga nila yung pag-withdraw ng extradition proceedings diyan sa plea bargain agreement. So instead of working on the extradition proceedings and making sure that the extradition proceedings succeed, they're avoiding the extradition proceedings," de Lima said.

"Kailangan talaga ng Office of the Ombudsman to seriously re-examine and reassess their position with the end in view of withdrawing the plea bargain agreement. Ganun din dun sa Sandiganbayan, kailangan tingnan nila nang maigi yung sitwasyon," she added.