Ex-general enjoys stay in Bilibid

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FORMER military comptroller Maj. Gen Carlos Garcia seemed to have undergone spiritual rejuvenation.

Garcia, who is facing money laundering and bribery charges, no longer wants to leave the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City where he claims to be rendering “religious and spiritual services.”

In a handwritten letter to the Sandiganbayan Second Division, the retired major general asked the justices not to uproot him from the prison facility where he is presently detained.

“Your Honors, as a detainee here at the Bureau [of Corrections], I’ve been involved myself in extending assistance to the implementation of the Reformation and Safeguarding Programs,” he said in the letter dated July 30.

His request followed the revocation of the Sandiganbayan of his bail bond in his cases
of direct bribery and facilitating money laundering upon the order of the Supreme Court.

The Sandiganbayan set aside Garcia’s P60,000 bail and told the Corrections agency “to continue his [Garcia] detention thereat.”

The bond was for his provisional liberty when the plunder charge against him was lowered to bribery and facilitating money laundering in lieu of Garcia’s transfer of P150-million assets and properties.

The Armed Forces convicted Garcia of violating Articles of War 96 and 97 related to his alleged untruthful declarations in his 2002 and 2003 statements of assets, liabilities and net worth.

Garcia told the anti-graft court that “in the event of release,” he still wants to be inside the Bilibid so that he may continue his work as a lay minister.

“Being installed as a lay minister here at Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel, I assist the Bureau chaplain in rendering religious and spiritual services to my fellow detainees,” he said.

Garcia added that he served as an adviser to the inmate-auxiliary organizations at the Maximum Security Compound in keeping the order in the compound.

He said that his experience inside the penitentiary allowed him “to attend church services daily.”

John Constantine G. Cordon

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