By Joey Natividad
CITY OF NAGA. Bicol Region, 05July2013 (BicolToday.com] – The Supreme Court’s move to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) on a top military official’s plea bargain with the anti-graft court was lauded by Senator Chiz Escudero as “moving in the right direction” in the fight against graft and corruption, Bicol Today learned on Friday.
Senator Escudero on Thursday lauded the Supreme Court for its decision in issuing the TRO on the implementation of the plea bargain agreement entered by former military comptroller Major General Carlos Garcia with the Ombudsman, saying this move from the high court “sends the correct signal in as far as the battle against graft and corruption is concerned.”
The Senator had made his criticism known when the Sandiganbayan had decided to uphold the plea bargaining agreement with Garcia in 2010. He had expressed full backing for Malacanang when it contested the said agreement.
“I had said then and I will still say it now that the Sandiganbayan decision on the plea bargain agreement runs counter to the ideals of good governance since it clearly offered a way out for Garcia to account for the estimated P303 million he allegedly misappropriated from the AFP funds” Escudero said.
He said the SC decision also forms the backbone of the Aquino administration’s “daang matuwid” initiatives by making public officials accountable to the people.
“The country’s commitment to anti-corruption efforts has already gained traction, and we can uphold and pursue this if all of our institutions move in the same direction of “daang matuwid”.
He said: “the SC decision augurs well for the drive to rid the government of irregularities, primarily within the military establishment which has been identified in a recent Senate probe as a major source of corrupt practices” [BicolToday.com]