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Cablegate: Court-Martial Finds General Garcia Guilty

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

B. MANILA 1641

1. (U) On the afternoon of December 2, a general court
martial board sentenced retired Major General Carlos Garcia
to dishonorable dismissal, forfeiture of military retirement
benefits, and two years of hard labor at a military prison.
The military court found Garcia, a former military
comptroller, guilty of violating two provisions of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines Articles of War: Article 96
(conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman) and Article
97 (conduct prejudicial to good order and military
discipline). The two charges stemmed from Garcia's alleged
misrepresentation of the value of his assets in 2002 and 2003
and for possession of U.S. permanent resident status while
still a serving general. During the court martial
proceedings, the prosecution focused on Garcia's unexplained
wealth in the form of real estate, luxury motor vehicles, and
significant financial assets. The decision handed down by
the court martial is subject to the approval of AFP Chief of
Staff General Generoso Senga.

2. (U) At the same time, Garcia faces the charge of
plundering 303 million pesos (approximately USD 6 million)
before the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court, as well as four
perjury charges. Under Republic Act 7080, known as "The
Plunder Act," the allowable punishment is life imprisonment
or even the death penalty.

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3. (U) Comment: The guilty verdict handed down by the court
martial after an eight-month trial is an extremely positive
development in the Philippine government's anti-corruption
campaign, and sends a strong warning to other corrupt
government officials. Allegations of military corruption
have triggered investigations of several high-ranking
military officers, and Garcia is the first to be court
martialed under these circumstances, and may indeed be the
most senior AFP officer ever to be found guilty in a court
martial. Post will continue to follow the Garcia case
closely. End Comment.

4. (U) U.S Embassy Manila Press Guidance:

Q: Any reaction to the conviction and sentencing of former
General Carlos Garcia today?

-- The U.S. welcomes the general court martial conviction and
sentencing in this important anti-corruption case. We note
that former General Garcia also faces charges filed in
civilian court.

Q: What was the U.S. role in this investigation?

-- The investigation into this matter began with information
gathered by law enforcement officials in the United States.
U.S. and Philippine law enforcement authorities cooperated
closely during this investigation, resulting in a successful

Q: Is Garcia under investigation in the U.S.? What is the
status of that investigation?

-- U.S. law enforcement authorities are carrying out an
investigation of former General Garcia in the United States.
We cannot provide details, as the investigation is still


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