Thursday, August 11, 2005

NR0811:Mendoza's testimony links jueteng & electoral fraud

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release August 10, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
cp number 09213907362

Mendoza’s testimony connects PGMA’s involvement in jueteng and how the 2004 electoral scam was pulled off – Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that Capt. Marlon Mendoza’s assertions that Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Comelec commissioner Virgilio Garcilliano connived to rig the May 2004 elections should be given credence, seeing that they corroborate not only with the testimonies of former Malacanang staff and Garcilliano nephew Michaelangelo Zuce. He said that both Mendoza and Zuce’s assertions and testimonies are not easily dismissible despite the attempts of Malacanang allies in the Senate to discredit them. He lauded Mendoza’s bravery, and said that the younger officers in the AFP should follow his lead and expose what they know of jueteng operations, electoral fraud and the involvement of the executive or AFP officials in them.

“Both Mendoza and Zuce have much to lose by coming forward, and they are witnesses who have worked in close proximity with both Garcilliano and Mrs. Arroyo. In the interest of fairness and justice, their testimonies should not be ignored and instead further heard out. Our colleagues in the senate should not be attacking or questioning the credibility of witnesses just because their testimonies are pointedly against the president. It is not the job of senators to lawyer for Pres. Arroyo – their job is to unearth the truth via the committee investigations,” he said.

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that it was inevitable that the hearings in the senate on jueteng will be connected to the impeachment call. "Mendoza’s testimony links the jueteng operations and how they served in Pres. Arroyo’s electoral fraud caper in May 2004."

“By being a beneficiary of the jueteng operations, Pres. Arroyo also stands to be impeached. She has perjured herself time and again on national media by saying that her government is determined to go after jueteng operators and the gambling lords, yet here she is being the First Lady of jueteng,” he said. “Not only do the allegations and accusations against her point out that she willingly received jueteng money, the implication is that jueteng money is what she used to steamroll the massive electoral fraud she and Garcilliano perpetrated in May 2004.”

Beltran said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should not touch Mendoza or take any action against him that will serve the purpose of dissuading, discouraging or threatening him from continuing to reveal what he knows of the President’s involvement in jueteng and electoral fraud. He said that the AFP should adopt a hands-off policy on Mendoza, given that his testimonies have nothing to do with the AFP’s operations.

Finally, Beltran said that the quest for justice was slow going because the designated truth-finders were intent on protecting their own self interest and that of Pres. Arroyo. He said that it was essentially a game of block and parry between Arroyo allies and the opposition, and the main spectators, the Filipino people, were also the victims.

“Who is benefiting from all this but Pres. Arroyo who continues to remain in office when she has no legitimate or legal right to do so,” he said. “There are very deliberate and rigorous efforts on the part of Malacanang and its allies to weaken and delay and even misdirect investigations against Pres. Arroyo. The jueteng investigations whether Arroyo allies in the senate like it or not also serve and strengthen the call for the president’s impeachment and demands that the impeachment process be begun as soon as possible,” he said.#


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