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Friday, September 16, 2011
Palace: GMA didn't confirm Garcia's conviction
MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang said no VIP treatment would be given to former AFP Comptroller Carlos Garcia who is being transferred to the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) following his arrest Friday morning.
“We can be certain of that. There is no VIP treatment to be given to anyone,” Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.
Lacierda said former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo did not give her confirmation to the the court martial’s decision, which was necessary for it to become effective.
“Hindi po pwede kasi i-implement ang isang decision ng court martial kung walang confirmation ng Presidente bilang commander-in-chief. Hindi inaksyunan ni dating Pangulong Arroyo ang rekomendasyon o decision ng court martial. So ngayon lang po natin siya ini-implement at kino-confirm po ni Pangulong Aquino. Pagkatapos i-confirm, the sentence is immediately executed,” Lacierda said.
“The decision of the court martial is recommendatory and becomes effective only upon the confirmation of the President of the Republic as commander-in-chief and therefore yes, he [Aquino] confirmed the decision of the military court.”
Lacierda said Garcia’s plunder case pending in the Sandiganbayan is distinct from the charges he faced before the court martial.
Garcia was arrested anew after the military court convicted Garcia of violating Articles 96 and 97 of the Articles of War.
“It is the conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman for failing to disclose/declare all his existing assets in his 2002 and his 2003 Statement of Assets and Liabilities and for holding the status of an immigrant, permanent resident of the United States of America thereby causing dishonor and disrespect to the military profession,” explained Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.
Under the law, the maximum penalty is 2 years.
Gen. Eduardo Oban, Armed Forces Chief, said Garcia was arrested Friday morning following President Aquino’s confirmation of the court martial’s sentence.