Thursday, October 07, 2004

NR1004b: Garcia deserves trial by publicity

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin B. Beltran
News Release October 4, 2004
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, chief of staff
Celphone number 09213907362


Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today expressed disagreement with
assertions that Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) president and
general manager Winston Garcia was being treated unfairly and was being
subjected to trial by publicity.

"All the flak and accusations being lobbed at Garcia he well deserves. He has
abused his powers time and time and again, and he has had the gall to deny them
blank-faced despite glaring proof of his corruption. He should be axed; he
should have been axed long before. There's already a long list of charges and
complaints against him at the Office of the Ombudsman and the Civil Service
Commission; as well as numerous resolutions in Congress calling for intensive
investigations into his management and administration of the GSIS funds. None
of them have prospered significantly for one mysterious reason or another, but
the main reason being Garcia is protected under the aegis of Pres. Macapagal-
Arroyo herself," he said.

Beltran said that trial by publicity against Garcia is something Garcia should
have been subjected to. He said that there's a paper trail of records divulging
how much Garcia spent of GSIS-funds to pay for a continuing series of full-page
and color advertisements in print media, as well as radio and TV ads. He said
that every time the heat rises and the clamor for his resignation gains
headway, Garcia is quick to release millions for media propaganda. From January
to March of this year, GSIS spent P3,267,679.03 for adverts in the Philippine
Journalists, Inc. alone. It paid Gemini Philippine Graphic Art Corp. another
huge amount of P 4, 950,982.92. Beltran also cited a week-long series of
advertorials printed in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) costing GSIS up to
P830,851.20 and Philippine Star amounting to P 535,749.39. In a span of only 3
months, from January to March 2004 that is, GSIS under the management of
Winston Garcia spent a total of P13,992,459.82 on advertisements alone.

The veteran labor leader has expressed exasperation over Malacanang's refusal
to relieve Garcia. "In truth, it's not just Garcia who's the problem with the
GSIS - it's Malacanang. President Arroyo herself should be questioned for
protecting Garcia. It's quite shocking that the President does not even
consider demanding that Garcia put in even a leave-of-absence given the
avalanche of well-founded accusations against him," he said.

Beltran said that his office is being swamped by calls, email and letters from
various GSIS beneficiaries supporting the call for Garcia's immediate relief.
He said that Garcia's infamy is well known to thousands of GSIS employees who,
even if working in the GSIS provincial and regional offices, are victims of
Garcia's petty tyranny and corrupt manipulation of the GSIS funds.

"There are literally thousands of government employees and GSIS beneficiaries
who are willing and eager to testify against Garcia and attest to the
accusations that under Garcia, the service of GSIS has severely deteriorated,"
he said.

Finally, Beltran said that Garcia should be subjected to a lie detector test by
a third, independent party. "No doubt, Garcia would flunk a well and properly
administered lie detector test. Asked about his gross mismanagement of GSIS
funds and his ruthless attack against GSIS employees who stand against his
dictatorship in the GSIS, Garcia, for sure, will sweat buckets and the
polygraph go wildly erratic," he said.###


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