The Carlos Garcia Plunder Case: Heidi Mendoza of COA speaks up

With all the talks about the worsening car-napping cases and the recent bus explosion that happened in Makati, the mainstream media might have forgotten their favorite news item last December.

The Garcia plunder case which is now downgraded to a bribery case as a result of a plea bargain agreement proposed by our beloved special prosecutor from our beloved Ombudsman.

Former ombudsman Marcelo was surprised why the prosecution entered the plea bargain agreement option as this is usually taken only if the evidences are weak. According to Marcelo, this was not the case.

The prosecution says otherwise. According to the prosecution, for a government official to have millions and millions of undeclared wealth is not enough proof for the crime of plunder. Never mind that the annual salary of the individual will not even reach one million.

But the law is the law, even if common sense says otherwise, having no solid proof will not result to a conviction. Especially with the innocent until proven guilty creed. My only comment is that how were they not able to find any evidence.

Well apparently, if we are to believe Heidi Mendoza’s statement, not only did they not do a good job in finding proof, powerful people have made sure that the evidence found by the former ombudsman was never used.

Heidi Mendoza stated that she headed a special six-member team the Commission on Audit detailed with the Office of the Ombudsman from 2004 to 2006 to investigate Garcia’s transactions. She has worked for COA for more than two decades and has won several corruption cases. In her opinion, basing on dozens of cases that she has handled, there was enough evidences found to convict Garcia on plunder. Unfortunately, not only did she not get enough support from the government and from the media, she was even asked to slow down her investigation and ultimately asked her to stop.

Click here for some information on the evidences that her team has uncovered. Below are some excerpt of the articles if you’re too lazy to read the article.

Finally, one day, afer spending a day and a half in a dusty “bodega” (storage room) of the AFP, she and her team of auditors finally came upon the P200 million transaction.

It was like looking for a needle in a haystack. “Ginulo talaga nila ang files (They really messed up the files),” Mendoza said.

The auditors had to rifle through every folder and scrutinize each document it contained to find the “smoking gun” evidence against Garcia.

Mendoza’s team turned up a memorandum dated Nov. 21, 2002 in which Garcia authorized the opening of an “AFP Inter-Agency Transfer Fund” account with the UCPB in the amount of the P200 million.

The account name itself was already questionable because, Mendoza said, it refers to an entity—the AFP Inter-agency Transfer Fund—that does not exist.

Through an undated disbursement voucher he and Col. Fernando S. Zabat signed, a check in the amount of P200 million and dated Nov. 28, 2002 was issued from the AFP’s Land Bank account and deposited to the newly opened UCBP account. The account was a savings account (No. 132-1121-431-8) linked to a current account (No. 132-002-731-6) with an automatic transfer feature.

Strangely, the check cleared on the same day. The normal clearing period for checks of other banks is three days.

Stranger still was that the entire P200 million was never deposited to the AFP Inter-Agency Transfer Fund account as the disbursement voucher had intended.

The third passbook with the serial number 347266 for the second PSD 1743 to which the P50 million was purportedly deposited was submitted by the AFP for audit and was supposedly issued also by the UCBP Alfaro branch.

But Mendoza and her team would later confirm that the passbook not only bore tampered entries but was “fictitious and could not be identified.” A letter from UCPB Alfaro admitted that this particular savings account did not exist in its system.

The auditors instead traced the account to the UCPB branch on Tordesillas Street in Makati. “Said acts cannot be consummated without the participation of bank officials,” they said.

Just in case you have no idea on what Major General Carlos Garcia did, click here for more information.

credits: ABS-CBN News

Update: Malacañang has promised its support to Heidi Mendoza.


About Squared
House of Squared is written by that guy who knows more than the average Duterte supporter, which isn't saying much given that most of them are morons.

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