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BAD OMEN FOR THE ELECTIONS, Pimentel: Garci boys intact, promoted

by Pesante-USA Friday, Jan. 15, 2010 at 10:53 PM 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

PESANTE NEWS learned today through media sources in Manila that the “Garci” boys were never kicked out. They even got promoted. Garci Boys are the officials of the COMELEC involved in widespread cheating during elections in the Philippines. Elections Chair Jose Melo should fulfill his promise to “ground” officials implicated in rigging the 2004 and 2007 polls, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said Wednesday.

dsc_0406.jpg, image/jpeg, 3008x2000

Bad Omen for Philippine Elections 2010

By Pesante-USA




January 10, 2010

BAD OMEN FOR THE ELECTIONS, Pimentel: Garci boys intact, promoted

Los Angeles- PESANTE NEWS learned today through media sources in Manila that the “Garci” boys were never kicked out. They even got promoted. Garci Boys are the officials of the COMELEC involved in widespread cheating during elections in the Philippines.

Elections Chair Jose Melo should fulfill his promise to “ground” officials implicated in rigging the 2004 and 2007 polls, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said Wednesday.

PESANTE NEWS said that Pimentel asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should particularly “put in the freezer” those officials who conspired with then Commissioner Virgilio “Garci” Garcillano in “dagdag-bawas” (vote-padding and vote-shaving) operations in 2004, when opposition presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr. was cheated of victory even in Muslim provinces where it was well-known he had strong support.

Explain Sumalipao

Pimentel said the Comelec should explain why Rey Sumalipao had stayed on as Comelec-ARMM regional director “despite ample evidence of his role as Garci’s accomplice in cheating operations” in Mindanao in 2004.

“Having evaded sanctions for his wrongdoing,” Sumalipao was promoted from provincial election supervisor in Lanao del Sur to the top position in the Comelec-ARMM office, Pimentel said, adding:

“If only to put across the message that it is taking serious steps to clean up its house, the Comelec should fire or reassign Mr. Sumalipao to a role where he can do no damage to the electoral process.

“Perhaps he should be sent to Pag-asa island in the Spratlys.”

“As long as known associates of Garcillano are occupying sensitive posts in the Comelec, there will be apprehensions over attempts by sinister forces to manipulate and subvert the electoral process,” the senator from Mindanao said in a statement.

Pimentel said lengthy congressional inquiries as well as investigative reports by the media had indicated the involvement of Garcillano and his team of Comelec operatives in the manipulation of the 2004 presidential election, particularly in the provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

For all that, he lamented, the so-called “Garci boys” had been promoted and not dismissed and criminally prosecuted.

Charges still under study

He said Melo should act immediately, particularly because Comelec law department chief Fernando Rafanan had reportedly recommended the filing of administrative and criminal charges against the erring election officers.

Contacted for comment, Rafanan said the Comelec en banc had yet to rule on the charges against Sumalipao and others.

Rafanan said his recommendation was still being studied by the commissioners.

“They are not yet convicted,” he said, adding that Sumalipao had denied wrongdoing.

Gang’s all here

Citing media reports, Pimentel said the other “Garci boys” now holding high posts were:

• Renato A. Magbutay, who was promoted from assistant regional director in Western Mindanao to regional director of the Comelec in Northern Mindanao.

• Francisco Pobe, an Agusan del Sur election officer who was promoted assistant regional director in Caraga.

• Renault Macarambon, the vice chair of the Lanao del Sur board of provincial board of canvassers who was later made chief of barangay affairs at the Comelec main office.

According to Pimentel, it was Magbutay who informed Garcillano of the disappearance of an election officer in a town in Basilan province who was carrying certificates of canvass and election returns.

It was also Magbutay who purportedly suggested that family members of the missing poll officer be kidnapped to force the officer to surface.

Pobe is said to have identified himself as “Danny” in the “Hello Garci” tapes—recordings of purported conversations between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Garcillano after the balloting in 2004.

Macarambon was purportedly mentioned by Garcillano in the same tapes as his “point man.”

Out from hiding

The “Hello Garci” scandal erupted in July 2005.

In August 2005, the Singaporean government told the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs that Garcillano stopped at the city-state on July 14, 2005, en route to an undisclosed destination.

Garcillano surfaced on Dec. 4, 2005. He said he was in the country the whole time, in the homes of Muslim friends in Mindanao, reading and writing his memoirs. As proof, he submitted two passports to the House of Representatives that had no entry showing he had left the Philippines.

But one of the passports—with validity from Feb. 11, 2002, to Feb. 11, 2007—was found to be fake by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in March 2006.

Cases vs Garci dismissed

Later in 2006, the Department of Justice dismissed all charges of perjury and falsification of legal documents filed against Garcillano by a number of lawmakers. He ran for congressman in the first district of Bukidnon as an independent candidate in 2007, and lost. PESANTE NEWS believed that Garcillano is being protected by his patron the President of the Philippines herself.


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