The long arm of the law

The two sons of former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, who is on trial for plunder and has just been convicted of perjury, were arrested Wednesday in the United States. Brothers Juan Paulo and Ian Carl were arrested in Michigan and Las Vegas, respectively, by US authorities.

The brothers, together with a third sibling, Timothy Mark, and their mother Clarita are wanted in the Philippines for plunder on charges that they amassed P303.27 million in ill-gotten wealth.

Juan Paulo and Ian Carl were arrested by US authorities not for the plunder charge, but for smuggling $100,000 through the San Francisco airport in December 2003. When the brothers were questioned by US Customs authorities for their failure to declare the dollars, the mother came to her sons’ rescue. Clarita Garcia executed a written statement wherein she famously declared that the money came from her husband’s earnings as comptroller of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. She also indicated that there was more where the money came from.

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