@TgGuingona cautions Sandigan against Name-calling

This is a press statement from Senator TG Guingona.

Senator TG Guingona today called on the Sandiganbayan to “avoid an apparent tendency to indulge in hysterical name-calling” because this could lead to a public perception that the anti-graft court “is the de-facto defender of former armed forces comptroller Carlos Garcia” in the plunder case the retired major general is currently facing.

Guingona issued the call after Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Samuel Martires branded the Office of the Solicitor General as “crazy wolves” which he said are “howling not in the middle of the night, but at noon”.

Martires made the remarks in connection with the OSG’s motion to allow its lawyers to intervene in the plunder case against Garcia.

Guingona said Martires’ remarks are “grossly unfair both to the OSG and to the Sandiganbayan”.

“I hope Justice Martires realizes that the OSG is merely performing its mandate and function and its persistence in its efforts to intervene in the Garcia plunder case should be lauded and not ridiculed,” Guingona said.

“I also hope the Justice is aware that his remarks are causing impressions that he and the Sandigan may have lost its objectivity in the handling of the Garcia plunder case,” Guingona added.

Guingona also noted that the Sandigan had berated media and the public in its earlier decision approving the plea bargain agreement between Garcia and the past administration.

Guingona questioned “why the honorable justices, in writing the decision, went out of their way to lambast the Media and the People for their adverse opinion and perception concerning both General Garcia’s plunder case and Plea Bargain Agreement”.

In the said resolution, the Sandiganbayan Second Division blamed the media and the public for what it said were “lies” which came in the heels of the Garcia plunder probe.

“ Was it not sufficient for them to have allowed General Garcia to pocket P165 million in “pabaon ?”, Guingona asked.

“ Why the need to fault the public and media for raging mad against this whole scheme?”, Guingona added.

Guingona also explained that “there is a now a new Solicitor General under a new administration that had nothing to do with the compromise with Garcia” and that his office is pursuing the President’s policy of transparency and accountability.

“I support the OSG’s efforts to pursue the plunder case and to stop the plea bargain agreement,” he underscored.

“I believe the OSG should persist despite the public ridicule that Justice Martires has subjected them to,” he added.