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How do you feel about the plea deal entered into by government prosecutors with accused plunderer Gen. Carlos Garcia?

Larry Parroco, Quezon City: It makes me angry. Because of what the government prosecutors have done, parang binaboy nila ang ating justice system. That plea deal is hurting us.  

Rey Ibalan, Antipolo City: The government could lose the case. Sen. Enrile and Atty. Frank Chavez said evidence submitted were weak and the case against Gen. Garcia could fail.  

Breach of public trust

Louella Brown, Baguio City: As an ordinary citizen, I feel betrayed, duped and demoralized about the plea deal entered into by government prosecutors with accused plunderer Gen. Carlos Garcia.  

Janet Lopez, Manila: What a breach of public trust. Bantay salakay!  

Cris Rivera, Rizal: I feel bad. It’s as if my most trusted friend, at the most crucial time and place, abandoned me where only the fittest survive. The prosecutors seemingly worked hand in hand to trash the trust and confidence accorded them by the Filipino.  

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Diony Yap, Bacolod City: Nakakahiya. Our government prosecutors entered a deal to release the accused plunderer Gen. Carlos Garcia.  

Jun Montebon, Parañaque City: I feel that I was taken for a ride by the Ombudsman and her cohort prosecutors. What happened to more than 50 per cent of the unrecovered loot?  

Pitts Hizon, Pampanga: Apparently, there was a betrayal of public trust through breach of official duty. They did not fight for the full restitution of the P303 million while it was within their power to do so. I wonder how much went into their pockets?  

Elmo Cruz, Manila: I pitied Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and the government prosecutors when they could hardly answer convincingly the questions directed to them by Sen. Pres. Enrile and Sen. Drilon during the Senate Blue Ribbon committee investigation of the plea bargaining agreement they entered into with the accused plunderer, but I pity more our nation for being victimized by those who are supposed to protect our interest and welfare.  

Germi Sison, Cabanatuan City: Common sense dictates that the plea bargaining agreement entered into by government prosecutors with the accused plunderer was questionable, as their alleged weak evidence belies the findings of former state auditor Heidi Mendoza, which served as the basis of the charges. With hundreds of millions of pesos involved and the perceived blessing of the past administration, anyone with an analytical mind can conclude that the prosecutors sold the interest of the government for a few millions. It is sickening that people who are entrusted with protecting government welfare are the ones plundering the people’s money. President Noynoy Aquino was correct that there would be no need for additional taxes to fund government programs and projects if corruption would be eliminated.  

Rushed decision

John Angelo Blasquino, Metro Manila: I believe they did not think this one through.  

Manuel Abejero, Pangasinan: Those prosecutors acted like Chinese cooks and they did it lutong macao.  

It was the logical thing to do

Ruben Viray, Antipolo City: The plea deal entered into by our government prosecutors with Gen. Carlos Garcia, I believe, is in order if indeed evidence was really weak. If the government loses the case against Gen. Carlos Garcia due to lack of evidence, then the plea bargain will at least make the government recover part, if not most, of the money plundered by the said general. I think this will again entail a long deliberation in our court of justice and can still be appealed. Democracy is working in our country.  

Rodolfo Talledo, Angeles City: Apparently, the chances of conviction due to inferior evidence are small. To obtain a conviction solid proof of guilt, beyond reasonable doubt, and not based on mere speculation and presumption, must be established. Losing the case will generate ridicule and charges of incompetence.  

Is something afoot?

Leonard Villa, Batac City: Even a layman like me could sense that the deal is tainted with irregularity and the Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan have become a laughingstock.  

Dennis Montealto, Mandaluyong City: There must be something there that we still don’t know about.  

J.R. Mondonedo Jr., Parañaque City: Plea deal and what, he goes scot-free? I really don’t know how it works, but if it’s supposed to be like this, then it only shows that there is something fishy going on, like some of these prosecutors will get a cut somewhere along the line to maintain their lifestyle, mistresses, families and relatives getting a piece of the pie, etc. Why can’t it be as simple as getting what he stole and putting him behind bars? I don’t know. I am not a lawyer.  

Elizabeth Oximer, Negros Occidental: It is so obscene. Magkano kaya ang laman ng envelopes?  

Rene Poder, Manila: They allowed Gen Garcia to have his cake and eat it, too. Indeed, a “flee bargain”.  

Not for us to say

Ferdinand Rafer, Cavite: Better leave that decision to the Sandiganbayan justices who handle the case. They are the ones to rule on that case, not us, not the Senate/Congress.  

Disgusted

Bing Limson-Salvador, Metro Manila: Totally disgusted.  

Ishmael Calata, Parañaque City: The plea deal is revolting to the highest degree. While this deal was being processed, why was the remaining money in the hands of the plunderer allowed to be used by his family? Should it not have been frozen first before the finality of the deal was to be reached? This is a clear example of why corruption of this magnitude continues in our country, where those who are supposed to guard the welfare of the nation are in cahoots with big-time corrupt officials in our government. Now let us see the closure of this investigation and let’s see to it that, for once, a big fish is prosecuted in court and punished with the highest form of punishment found in the penal code.  

William Gonzaga, Marikina City: It’s disgusting to realize that those government prosecutors succumbed to the devil’s blandishment of sharing in the plunderer’s ill-gotten wealth!  

June Deoferio, Cavite: I feel disappointed and angry over the plea deal because hundreds of millions are involved for our soldiers that Gen. Garcia allegedly pocketed.  

Robert Young Jr., San Juan: Gen. Carlos Garcia’s plea deal with government prosecutors was done with effrontery, arrogance, self-assurance, audacity, brashness, brazenness, cheek, cheekiness, chutzpah, crust, disrespect, gall, guff, hardihood, impertinence, impudence, incivility, insolence, presumption, rudeness, sass, self-assurance, self-confidence, shamelessness, temerity. It’s so sickening it can make a person puke. The plea bargain deal entered into by prosecutors with Gen. Garcia is typical of wheeling and dealing in most government offices. Take tax deficiency, for instance. An examiner asks businessmen to pay 10 per cent to the government, he gets 40 per cent for himself and the businessman is only too happy to save 50 per cent. The Marcoses are said to have entered into secret deals with the PCGG, that’s why they got away with hundreds of cases filed against them. Wheeling and dealing is so common that one Chinese friend remarked, “I don’t how to do business once officials stop receiving bribe.”  

Junk it

Alexander Raquepo, Ilocos Sur: It’s unfair. Just junk it.  

Erwin Espinoza, Pangasinan: Trash.  

What a letdown

Joel Caluag, Bulacan: If I can make the lives of those prosecutors miserable for what they did, they will be living miserably for the rest of their lives.  

Joe Nacilla, Las Piñas City: It is safe to conclude that the majority of Filipinos feel that what Gen. Garcia did was an extraordinary evil. He cheated for money so he and his wife could live a life of luxury. In the same manner, those government prosecutors who entered into a plea deal should be imprisoned for a long sentence the same way they imprisoned us.  

C.B. Manalastas, Manila: The prosecutors showed lack of initiative in gathering and evaluating enough evidence against Gen. Garcia at the expense of the government.  

Pedro Alagano Sr., Vigan City: Plea bargain deal, if done in good faith, is advantageous to the government, but in the case against Gen. Garcia, where there is a tsunami of evidence to pin him down, said prosecutors acted in bad faith when they entered the said deal, as it obviously frees the culprit to enjoy his loot rather than to suffer the consequences of life imprisonment for plunder; therefore disadvantageous to the state. Said situation also qualifies the prevailing joke: “Only in the Philippines  where you can buy your freedom.”  

Jose Fabello Jr., Cagayan de Oro City: I feel sad that our prosecutors did not measure up to the task given them. The deal must have been so sweetly tempting.  

Snail-paced

Rose Leobrera, Manila: Let him rot in jail who is guilty. Aksyunan na yan. These are just delaying tactics.  

Jayson Biadog, Mandaluyong City: It’s very slow. It must be resolved as soon as possible.  

Plunder is a serious case

Dino Monzon, Caloocan City: The government should never enter into deals with Gen. Garcia and his ilk. They should prosecute him and his misbegotten family to the full extent of the law.  

Lucas Banzon Madamba, Laguna: Although he is entitled to making a plea and, of course, to due process of law, a person riddled with a bundle of cases should be held liable to the consequences of his actions. Plunder is a serious case and should be dealt with accordingly and in accordance with the full extent of the law.  

Raymar Gurrea, Bacolod City: Delikado tayo ‘pag ganitong klase ng mga prosecutors ang hahawak ng kaso. It’s that easy for them to enter a plea deal with somebody charged with plunder.  

We’re going to the dogs

Deo Durante, Camarines Sur: We are just encouraging other government officials to follow suit as Gen. Garcia and cohorts did, as if the government or the law is protecting plunderers and grafters. Besides, this is a big insult to our justice system. If the government will favor the plea deal  this country is going to the dogs!  

Delfin Todcor, Quezon City: It’s a kid glove deal purposely to exonerate the plunderers and corrupt officials involved with the AFP fund divestment. Again, this demonstrates the weak character of our officials and our weak judicial system. If this is the way our prosecutors and justice administrators and officials at Ombudsman, SC, CA and SB deal with these grave crimes, it is obvious that they are not looking for ways to stop corruption in all the government institutions. Therefore, this will perpetuate tax extortions and corrupt practices.  

Desuel Pardo, Mandaluyong City: Military people and government prosecutors who are supposed to run after enemies of the state and wrongdoers are being investigated and accused of committing anomalies by lawmakers who themselves are perceived to have their hands wetted by the dirty oil of corruption. I wonder if Diogenes, who is walking along our streets with lantern during daytime, has already found an honest man in our misguided society.  

Money talks

Smiley Olalia, Metro Manila: Money talks. Justice/judge/prosecutor “kuno” lawyers listen. God bless Pilipinas.  

Dr. Jose Balcanao, Benguet: Such scenario implies that big fish in the ring of corruption are being protected because they can buy everything and can even redefine the meaning of justice.  

That’s entertainment

Arthur Gimena, Metro Manila: This is Pinoy sarswela at its best.  

Billy Valero, Metro Manila: The Garcia plea bargain is a farce. The prosecutors, instead of prosecuting, are lawyering, acting as defense lawyers for the general.  

Resort to impeachment proceedings

Miguelito Herrera, Cabanatuan City: It’s another shameless act and a big blow to the justice system in this country. The prosecutors, along with the Ombudsman, had been assailed over its plea bargain agreement, a bad precedent and an insult to those who want to institute reforms in our democratic institutions. I believe that only the impeachment proceedings are the best way to remove them from office.  

There goes P-Noy’s dream

Felix Ramento, USA: It is an open display of effrontery on the part of the vestiges of the previous government against P-Noy’s avowal to fight organized corruption in government.  

Better than nothing

Ruben Viray, Antipolo City: Well, at least it’s better than nothing.  

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