Thursday, July 07, 2005

NR0706:Garci's admission; truth commission

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release July 06, 2005

Garcillano’s conversations/negotiations with PGMA a
separate matter from his phonecalls with other

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said
that the admission of Mindanao Comelec commissioner
Virgilio Garcillano’s admission that he talked with
Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during the height of the
May presidential elections was sufficient grounds to
compel Pres. Arroyo to step down.

“Commissioner Garcillano is trying to justify his
phonecalls with Pres. Arroyo as ordinary and that they
had no bearing on the results on the elections. Who is
he fooling? He has been with the Comelec for a
sufficient number of years and its highly improbable
that he doesn’t know that it’s illegal to communicate
with candidates during the vote-counting process lest
the communication be construed as influence peddling,”
he said. “And in whatever case, ignorance of the law
never excused anyone.”

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that
Commissioner Garcillano should not be allowed to leave
the country and even placed under Congress’ protective
custody. He is a key player in this electoral fraud
mystery, Beltran said.

“The conversations that Garcillano supposedly had with
other candidates such former Sen. Loren Legarda and
Minority leader Francis Escudero are different from
the conversations he had with Pres. Arroyo. On the
tapes, it was evident that Pres. Arroyo was not so
much concerned with election fraud as she was ordering
its implementation, and the advantage she wanted was
at least one million votes. Commissioner Garcillano
should be questioned mainly on the issue of his
controversial communications, and one could even say
his negotiations, with the highest executive of the
land,” he said.

Establishing a Truth Commission

In the meantime, the veteran labor leader turned
lawmaker said that the truth commission being proposed
by certain universities and institutions can
contribute to the public debate and could produce
positive results for the Filipino people’s campaign to
remove an illegitimate presidency.

“There is no doubt in my mind that a public debate on
the electoral fraud perpetrated by the president with
the help of Comelec commissioner Garcillano can only
do good, so long as it’s not Pres. Arroyo and her spin
doctors behind them. The greater number of Filipinos
involved and talking about this national issue, the
better. It shows a growing political maturity,
especially among the Filipino youth whose futures are
at stake,” he said.

“A truth commission that is completely independent of
Malacanang and its die-hard allies can contribute
positively to the debate. The facts of the issue and
the evidence that’s being exposed as the congressional
investigations on the tapes are sufficient to convince
many of Pres. Arroyo’s guilt. But more than the
electoral fraud involving the president, the Truth
Commission of schools such as the University of Sto.
Tomas should also delve into the heavier crimes
perpetrated by the president against the Filipino
people, mainly that of severely undermining the
economic welfare of the poor sectors by allowing
successive oil price hikes and increases in
electricity rates.” #


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