Manila, June 3, 2015 — U.S. Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg presented Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales with a check in the amount of U.S. $1,384,940.28 payable to the Republic of the Philippines. The check represents “ill-gotten” gains acquired by former AFP Comptroller General Carlos F. Garcia.
Following the ceremony, Ambassador Goldberg made the following statement: “Battling public corruption is a challenge that all countries face, including the United States. Meeting that challenge is vitally important to ensure public confidence in the honesty and integrity of public servants. Since retiring from the Supreme Court to serve as the Ombudsman, Justice Morales has been tireless in the investigation and prosecution of public corruption cases. The United States is very pleased to be able to assist Ombudsman Morales and her office whenever possible.”
Philippine and U.S. investigators worked closely together to determine that General Garcia laundered a substantial portion of his criminal proceeds through the United States. In particular, investigators with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security traced the criminal proceeds to two Citibank accounts in New York and a condominium in Trump Tower in New York. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York then initiated civil forfeiture proceedings against those assets and eventually obtained default judgments of forfeiture. The net proceeds resulting from the sale of the condominium and the funds from the two Citibank accounts were returned to the Philippines by the United States today.