Saturday, June 18, 2005

NR0619:Garcillano's best defense: He merely acted on PGMA's orders

News Release
June 19, 2005
From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran

Commissioner Garcillano should not fear prosecution as his alibi is solid: he was acting upon the orders and instructions of the President

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that it was evident that the Malacanang has already instructed infamous man-of-the-hour Comelec commissioner Virgilio arcillano to keep his head low in the midst of the escalating political controversy regarding his taped conversations with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Beltran said that it was highly irregular that a man who has become a Filipino household name is deliberately hiding from the limelight. “Flight is often taken as a sign of guilt- especially in this case when the individuals concerned have not only maintained an uneasy silence, but are actually keeping away from the media and refusing to air their side,” he said.

Beltran said that Garcillano should surface if only to air side. “Commissioner Garcillano should not be afraid to come forward. The public blame and political accountability does not rest on his shoulders because he acted as a mere accomplice to the crime of electoral fraud. Granting that it’s a serious crime that should be meted a weighty punishment and complete prosecution, Garcillano was merely acting on the orders of the executive. The pressure on him must have been very great,” he said.

“How does the President and her coterie of advisers expect this scandal of international proportions to be settled? The President refuses to issue statement of denial or admission, and her alleged partner-in-crime is in virtual hiding, in this particular case of electoral fraud being Garcillano.”

“Malacanang’s prayers will not work – this time, this issue will not just dry up and go away or be relegated to the back pages. This is a mystery that has gripped the entire nation and Filipinos will not rest until the case is solved and the antagonists given their just punishment,” he said. He said that the Committee on Public Information should issue a subpoena compelling Garcillano to appear at the Congressional hearings on the controversial tapes.

The veteran labor leader turned legislator urged Comelec chief Benjamin Abalos to take a more active role in searching for Garcillano. “Chairman Abalos is Garcillano’s immediate superior, and he has all the right to know the latter’s whereabouts and to seek clarifications regarding the massive mess he has been exposed to be involved in.”

“It’s unjustifiable the way Malacanang officials appear to be washing their hands of Garcillano, and this inaction only confirms the guilt being attributed to the President. Malacanang think-tankers believe that the longer the President and Garcillano maintain their silence, the more time it buys for the president. Sooner or later, however, something’s going to give and all the worse for PGMA,” he said.#


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