Skip to main content

Ex-military comptroller in plunder rap now a lay minister in prison


Former military comptroller Carlos Garcia, who is accused of plundering P303 million in public funds in the Sandiganbayan antigraft court, sat quietly by the altar while Novaliches  Bishop Antonio Tobias, Fr. Anton Pascual and Fr. Bobby de la Cruz celebrated a Mass at the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntilupa City recently.
Later during the Mass organized by Caritas Manila, Garcia, a retired major general who was convicted by a military court and meted out a two-year sentence for violating Articles of  War 96 and 97, gave communion to his fellow inmates.
Garcia, now a lay minister, avoided conviction by a civilian court by entering into a plea bargain with the previous Ombudsman in which he offered to return to the state P135 million. But his court martial conviction in 2006, which was confirmed by President Benigno Aquino III five years later, eventually sent Garcia to the national penitentiary on September 16 this year.
Six weeks later, after undergoing a two-week study, Garcia was formally installed as a Eucharistic minister of the Roman Catholic church.
NBP chaplain Monsignor Bobby Olaguer said Garcia’s preparations included a study on the history of the Church, the liturgy and the catechism using a module from the Liturgical Commission of  the Archdiocese of Manila.
According to Olaguer, Garcia was also given “spiritual training by Jesuit priests.”
“General Garcia passed the screening for lay ministers,”  Olaguer said. “He attends all religious work.  He has shown respect for people, and he is respected by the inmates.”
In  fact, from the day he first wore the required orange uniform for inmates, Garcia became a regular fixture at the NBP chapel.
“He attends Mass daily at 9 a.m. He goes to church in the afternoon. He prays the rosary. His daily schedule revolves around cell, church and hospital,” Olaguer said.
Garcia was qualified to be a lay minister after he was “recommended” by inmates, Olaguer said.
There’s  a limit to what Garcia can do as a lay minister, Olaguer said. “We would have wanted him to be a lector,  but he has refused. He said he was shy,” Olaguer added.
A court-martial found Garcia guilty of  “conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman for failing to disclose or declare all his assets in 2002 and 2003 and for holding the status of an immigrant or permanent resident of the United States,” a violation under Article of War 96.
He was also found guilty of “conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline for making untruthful statements under oath about his true assets in his 2002 and 2003 SALN,” a violation of Article of War 97.
Malacañang has called for a review of the plea bargain Garcia entered into with the previous Ombudsman.
The current Ombudsman, Conchita Carpio-Morales, in September submitted a position paper to the Sandiganbayan seeking a recall of the plea bargain Garcia and the government had entered into.
The Sandiganbayan has yet to respond to Carpio-Morales.
---------------------------
2:28 am | Friday, December 30th, 2011

Comments

More Philippine Defense News

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

No reduction in AFP manpower size

THERE will be no reduction in the number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when it implements the streamlining of commands by 2013, a senior officer told the Manila Standard in an exclusive interview.
“Under the Force Structure Review, there will be streamlining of units but this does not mean reduction in terms of the number of soldiers. In fact, the FSR calls for more recruits in the future,” the source, who requested anonymity, said.
At present, the military has a total of 125,000 soldiers, of which almost 85,000 are in the Army and the rest in the Navy-Marines and Air Force.
The FSR calls for an in-depth study of the AFP history in reference to pertinent laws of the land in conjunction with the challenges of internal and external defense.
The study also calls for the establishment of a strategic command that will focus on external defense where the main force would be the Air Force and Navy.
On instructions of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former military ch…

Philippine Armored Vehicles with ad-hoc wood slat armor

While searching for Philippine armored vehicles for the updates being done for both the blog and the Facebook page I chanced upon images of Philippine Army and Marine armor assets covered with thick wood planks as slat armor for protection from rocket propelled grenades. This caught the eyes of Popular Mechanics who published an article last June 8th just for this subject.


According to the article,
Wood armor on armored vehicles won't save them from ISIS rockets. Not sure, I'll leave that to the actual reports from the Philippine Military in using wood as an ad hoc protection for rpg's, but yes this is only during emergencies. The Philippine Army and Philippine Marines should employ or use the real add-on armors currently in the market for armored vehicle protection. Or they could just simply buy new thicker-armored vehicles to be used for front-line operations and have the old vehicles to be used in secondary missions or as support vehicles.



Nonetheless the fast-thinkin…