Ex-Ombudsman, ally sorry for false info on letter to PNoy

By Sheryll Mundo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2011 01:35 PM | Updated as of Mar 05 2011 02:05 AM

Former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo and former Special Prosecutor Dennis Villaignacio apologized to the justices of the Sandiganbayan's second division for putting wrong information in a letter addressed to President Benigno Aquino III regarding the plea bargaining agreement of former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia.

The letter said a demurrer to evidence was filed with the anti-graft court saying in effect that the prosecution's evidence is not sufficient to convict Garcia of plunder when no demurrer was filed.

In today's hearing, Marcelo admitted his mistake and told the court that they were not able to verify the information as time was of the essence since Garcia was already out on bail and the promulgation was already set.

This developed after Presiding Justice and Chairman of the Second Division Edilberto Sandoval said that the court was put in a bad light because of their false statements and added that both lawyers owe the court a public apology.

Marcelo said they will have a press conference next week to publicly apologize for their blunder. Both also asked the court for an extension to submit their reply to the petition to cite them for indirect contempt filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against them.

The court gave them an extension of 15 days from today and has set the next hearing on April 27.