Tuesday, November 29, 2005

NR1129:Malacanang and Garcillano's inconsistencies

From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release November 29, 2005

"Hello, Garci" scandal - Nothing has been settled, no one has been cleared and GMA is still in hot water - Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today said that Malacanang presidential adviser Gabby Claudio's offer of legal assistance to ex-Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano severely contradicts presidential spokesperson Ignacio Bunye's statement that Malacanang will not interfere or even comment on Garcillano's declarations. He said that this difference between Claudio and Bunye's statements reveal that Malacanang is more or less at a loss as to how to handle Garcillano and the potential damage he can wreak should he decide to surrender to Congress and deliver a full account of what took place in the May 2004 elections.

"In any case, it's evident that Macapagal-Arroyo's problems are far from over. Garcillano has not yet made a full account of the May 2004 election and the massive fraud he helped perpetrate upon the bidding of the incumbent executive. Nothing has been settled, and no one has been cleared. Garcillano is most likely lying through his teeth about his not leaving the country in the last six months and about not orchestrating electoral fraud in 2004 -- and the more lies he issues, the worse it will be not only for him but for Macapagal-Arroyo as well. The seed of doubt against Macapagal-Arroyo has long sprouted and grown into a sturdy tree, and Garcillano's lies all the more strengthens it. The longer Garcillano refuses to surface and give a proper testimony at the appropriate legal venue, the bigger Malacanang's problems will be," he said.

The veteran labor leader turned legislator said that Malacanang is now in a quandary, whether it will discourage Garcillano from speaking, or compelling him to continue issuing his lies. "Either way, the backlash will be severe, both against Garcillano and Macapagal-Arroyo. Neither party has gotten their stories right, and the public is getting angrier and frustrated by the minute with their inconsistencies," he said.

Beltran said that Congress should immediately reconvene the committees investigating the Hello, Garci tapes and reinstate the bounty on Garcillano as well as lay down the warrant for his arrest. "Garcillano is giving the entire country the runaround. What he's doing is blatant obstruction of justice. He should be considered a fugitive from justice and immediately arrested when located," he said.

In the meantime, Beltran said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) conclusion of its probe into the alleged involvement of some of its top officers in the "Hello Garci" scandal was suspicious in its timing apart from the fact that the probe has not produced any positive results. The five-member fact-finding board headed by Inspector General Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga turned over its findings to AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Generoso Senga last week amid reports that Garcillano had reappeared after hiding for months.

"Nothing happened to the AFP's probe on the military men whose names were mentioned in the tapes.It appears that the probe itself was implemented only to pacify the public and make it appear that the AFP is not sleeping on the watch and condoning any corrupt practice of its officials. It was just an investigation in form -- the board won't even consider going after Garcillano and get the truth directly from him about the officers whose names he mentioned in his taped conversations," he said.#


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