Monday, December 25, 2006

Former Election Official Virgilio Garcillano Is A Freeman

The corrupt Arroyo government is run by deceit and fantasy. Deceit breeds distrust of government and that’s the reason why Gloria Arroyo has negative zero credibility. The Filipino people no longer trust her. Mrs. Arroyo wants unity in the country and at same time the Department of Justice dismissed the case of Virgilio Garcillano. Justice is a big joke under corrupt Arroyo regime. It appears that Senator Panfilo Lacson, Rep. Gilbert Remulla and other opposition congressmen look like fools after the DOJ junked its complaint against Garcillano. The evil forces in Malacanang Palace want to protect cheaters, liars and crooks for political survival. Election fraud chief manipulator Virgilio Garcillano is one of the untouchables under Gloria’s Enchanted Kingdom. The domino effect will follow if Garcillano spill the beans the massive election cheating in 2004. The Department of Justice is a part of grand conspiracy to cover-up the 2004 electoral fraud. What solid evidence the DOJ is looking for? Everybody knows that Virgilio Garcillano lied through his teeth the whole time during election fraud congressional hearing. The Department of Justice’s junking of perjury and falsification complaints will not end the issue on massive cheating in 2004 presidential election. There’s no ending until culprits are send to jail. There’s no justice until bogus President Gloria Arroyo is ousted. God saves the Philippines!

12/24/2006 Philippine Daily Inquirer
by Michael Lim Ubac

THE man at the center of suspicions that President Macapagal-Arroyo stole the vote in the 2004 polls hopes that the dismissal by the Department of Justice of the perjury and falsification charges lodged against him by opposition lawmakers will finally bury the ghost of the controversial 2004 presidential election.

“Sana matapos na (I hope this will end),” former Election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano told the Inquirer when reached by phone yesterday at his farm in Baungon, Bukidnon.

Garcillano is widely believed to be the man with whom Ms Arroyo was speaking in tapped phone conversations during the 2004 election period.

The conversations triggered accusations of poll fraud that almost brought down Ms Arroyo’s administration and that continue to hound her.

Garcillano refused to comment further beyond saying that the DOJ order was long overdue.

But the dismissal of charges against Garcillano did not surprise Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr.

Both senators said they had expected the DOJ, on the purported prodding of Malacañang, to clear the brains of the alleged fraud that came to be known as the “Hello Garci” scandal.

“We expected this. Malacañang and the DOJ have no choice but to drop the case. If the case were filed in court, Garci will go all over town pointing his fingers at them. They can’t afford Garci telling on them,” said Lacson, who had filed the charges along with a number of opposition congressmen.

If at all, the senator said, he and the other lawmakers had proved one thing: “[Those who benefited] remain hostages of Garci and whatever information he has on them. They remain hostages now and until God knows when.”

Pimentel agreed.

“Why should you be surprised [at the DOJ decision]? A life that is full of lies must necessarily be supported by other lies,” he said.

As early as November

The 12-page DOJ resolution was issued as early as Nov. 14 by State Prosecutor George Yarte and approved by Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño upon the recommendation of Assistant Chief Prosecutor Richard Fadullon.

But a copy of the decision was obtained by the media only the other day, faxed by Garcillano’s lawyer Eddie Tamondong.

In throwing out the charges against Garcillano, the DOJ discredited a note verbale from Singapore and a Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas report.

It also said the opposition lawmakers failed to prove that Garcillano’s statements at a House hearing were made under oath.

The DOJ found no probable cause to prosecute Garcillano for the 21 counts of perjury and falsification of passport charges filed against him by Lacson and 19 other members of Congress in March and April 2006.

The cases were initially investigated by Prosecutor Laurence Chua Cheng of the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.

They were endorsed by the Quezon City Prosecutor to the DOJ for continuation of preliminary investigation and resolution, after the complaining legislators moved to inhibit the entire Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office for alleged bias.

On the phone yesterday, Garcillano’s wife Grace could not hide her elation.

“Mabuti naman. Magandang Christmas ‘to (This is good. This will be a good Christmas),” she said, adding that she and her husband would share a simple Noche Buena (Christmas Eve dinner) at the farm.

Unresolved issues

The other lawmakers who brought the charges against Garcillano warned that the Arroyo administration’s efforts to bury the truth would continue to haunt the incumbent in Malacañang and the country as a whole.

“Christmas is about reconciliation based on forgiveness and truth. But this Christmas, instead of giving the gift of truth to the Filipino people, the deception continues and it’s Garci who continues to receive gifts from this administration,” said House Deputy Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano.

“Although we really want reconciliation, peace, etc., the unresolved issues and continued whitewash do not augur well for the kind of reconciliation this country needs,” he added.

Another minority deputy leader, Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla, also said in a text message that the ruling was not surprising.

“From the get-go we knew that our case would be dismissed by the prosecutors and the DOJ they answer to. We expected no less when the prosecutors refused to even look at our solid evidence,” he said.

Remulla said even the media release of the decision was timed for “minimal impact on the public.”

“It must be the administration’s Christmas gift for Garci,” he said, but added that the fight was “far from over.”

He didn’t lie

Grace Garcillano said her husband was delighted when he heard of the dismissal in the weekend.

“Of course, he’s happy with the decision,” she said, adding that the DOJ ruling clearly proved that her husband did not lie when he told the Inquirer in a Nov. 27, 2005, interview that he did not leave the country following the surfacing of the “Garci tapes.”

“I was here all this time,” Garcillano said then.

Declared Grace yesterday: “My husband did not lie.”

Grace refused to comment on the specifics of the allegations against her husband, insisting that “details are more accurate in the proceedings.”

But she said that for some reason, the complainants bungled their own cases, and therefore had only themselves to blame for their legal defeat.

“They did not submit their own memorandum (reply to Garcillano’s counteraffidavit) for a long time. It’s not fair to prolong the case just because the other side will not submit their own memo,” she said.

She also defended her husband from allegations that his passport, which bears no immigration stamp indicating he had left the country, had been tampered with.

“They question his passport. But not all passports are the same. It’s possible that there may have been deviations during the production process. They say the passport size does not conform to standards, but I don’t know their standards,” she said.

No closure

Lacson and Pimentel expressed the belief that the dismissal of the charges would not put a closure to the scandal.

“Just like the impeachment [cases against Ms Arroyo] filed in the House, there’s no closure to this,” Lacson said.

Said Pimentel: “The Garci controversy will not end until the truth is out. Lies divide; only the truth unites.”

Lacson said it would not be prudent to appeal the DOJ resolution.

“It’s useless to file an appeal. With [Justice Secretary Raul] Gonzalez and Malacañang at the helm, it will only be dismissed. Everyone is the hostage of Garci now. At the proper time, this case will be revived,” he said.

Lacson expressed disagreement with the prosecutor’s finding that there was no probable cause to file a case against the former Comelec official.

He said he and the congressmen had presented strong evidence, including an authentication from Singapore’s foreign ministry that Garcillano had stopped in the city-state on July 14 on his way to London.

“It would have been easy to prove probable cause with those pieces of evidence,” he said. With reports from TJ Burgonio and Leila B. Salaverria
Timeline in ‘Hello Garci’ scandal
Garci case not closed, says Biazon
Lacson to DOJ chief: Stop lying on Garcillano case
Master Operator

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