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‘People’s court’ releases video docu on alleged GMA poll fraud

by Pesante-USA/AJLPP Thursday, Jul. 20, 2006 at 12:43 PM
magsasakapil@hotmail.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

In a video documentary shown at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, the Citizens’ Congress for Truth and Accountability (CCTA) said the evidence it has gathered could be used in the impeachment proceedings against Mrs. Arroyo should Congress allow it.

‘People’s court’ releases video docu on alleged GMA poll fraud

By Katherine Adraneda
The Philippine Star 07/20/2006

The so-called people’s court "trial" which found President Arroyo "guilty" of electoral fraud, human rights violations and corruption is now in CD form.

In a video documentary shown at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, the Citizens’ Congress for Truth and Accountability (CCTA) said the evidence it has gathered could be used in the impeachment proceedings against Mrs. Arroyo should Congress allow it.

The 105-minute documentary showed highlights of five public hearings conducted by the "people’s court" in the last quarter of last year.

"The video report is based on voluminous documents, which show President Arroyo losing the 2004 elections by hundreds of thousands of votes if the fraudulent votes such as those from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and the Pampanga-Cebu-Iloilo-Bohol (PCIB) provinces were subtracted from her total number of votes," the CCTA said in statement.

"The video also contains a strong indictment of the participation of Joc-Joc Bolante on the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) fertilizer fund scam based on documentary and testimonial evidence presented before the CCTA."

"The 203-page report of the CCTA was summarized into the video format for popularization and accessibility of the wider public to the truth," said lawyer Neri Javier Colmenares, Counsels for the Defense of Liberties spokesman.

"The video-documentary is part of the group’s efforts to disseminate its findings nationwide and abroad, a part of its search for truth and accountability in the Arroyo administration," he said.

Colmenares said government agencies, the House of Representatives, Senate, Malacañang and the United Nations will be furnished copies of the video-documentary.

"We will be giving out copies to at least 83 people’s organizations nationwide, along with the copy of the executive summary of the CCTA findings," he said.

"The video-documentary may be uploaded to the Internet, etc. so long as we’ll be able to spread the truth because people who committed the crime should be held accountable.

"But the people should still be the ones to decide after watching the video-documentary, kung tama na, sobra na, palitan na."

Colmenares said they might show the video-documentary in rural communities.

"We just hope that Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez will not consider this as seditious although we are willing to face him in court if he would charge us with sedition because of this," he said.

The CCTA is offering the evidence it had gathered on the GMA fertilizer fund scam to help prosecute former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante, who is being accused of diverting agricultural funds for the 2004 election campaign kitty of Mrs. Arroyo.

Bolante is detained at a federal facility in the United States on what is believed to be visa-related charges.

The CCTA estimates that around P7.3 billion-worth of public funds were allocated for "election-related government programs" in the months before the 2004 polls.

It claimed that the largest public funds diversion was that of the Department of Agriculture’s fund for agricultural inputs worth P1.1 billion; Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) program of the administration, amounting to P728 million; PhilHealth’s and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s Greater Medicare Access (GMA) program, amounting to P3 billion; Department of Public Works and Highways’ Kalsada Natin, Linisin Natin program worth P1.6 billion; and various campaign-related expenses allegedly shouldered by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. estimated at P687 million.

The same report also found that Mrs. Arroyo is liable for the widespread and systemic campaign of extra-judicial killings, abductions, acts of political persecution and other human rights abuses since she assumed power in 2001; and that the Office of the President grossly violated anti-graft laws, specifically in the diversion of public funds for her election campaign, and in at least two government transactions involving the Venable contract and North Rail project.

The CCTA report likewise found Mrs. Arroyo had committed twin acts of cover-up and state repression amid the allegation of crimes hurled against her and the challenges to her mandate and legitimacy as president.

According to the CCTA, the plan to commit the "meticulous and systematic" electoral fraud was "locked in place with the appointment of Virgilio Garcillano" to the Commission on Elections.

The CCTA report said that the "Hello, Garci!" tapes are authentic, and that it reveals the means and methods by which the electoral fraud was purportedly committed in 2004.

The CCTA heard testimonies of 22 witnesses that included former social welfare secretary Corazon Soliman, and pored over documents gathered from various verifiable sources.

During yesterday’s premier screening, the CCTA distributed an initial 150 copies of the video-documentary, which was directed by acclaimed film director Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, who was commissioned by the CCTA, the producer of the video.

It welcomes the reproduction of the video-documentary titled "At All Cost," the CCTA said.

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