Press Release
June 18, 2006


Malacañang may be tired of hearing about the massive electoral fraud in 2004, but not the people.

This was the reaction of Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) to the claim of the Palace that the people have lost interest in the allegation of rigging of the results of the last presidential election in favor of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Pimentel said that contrary to the Palaces claim, public interest in the election controversy remains high and this will remain for as long as there is no logical closure to the issue.

He said there is still no closure to the poll controversy because President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has used the powers of her office to suppress evidence and to prevent public officials and military-police officers from testifying in congressional inquiries.

Only Gloria is tired of the issue because she wants it swept under the rug. Once the Senate resumes its investigation, it will be conclusively show that Gloria stole the elections, corrupted the Commission on Elections and some high-ranking military officials and subverted the will of the people, the minority leader said.

It was Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye who said that the people are tired of hearing about the election cheating and they wanted to move on.

Bunye said the President would not be distracted from her official duties by the initial findings of the Senate defense committee; chaired by Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, that at least 620,000 fraudulent votes were added to the vote-count of Mrs. Arroyo as a result of the administrations cheating operations.

The findings resulted from the defense committees inquiry into the Hello Garci scandal which will wind up after one more public hearing this month.

Pimentel said there is nothing new about the findings by the Biazon committee about rigging of the poll results that benefited President Arroyo, saying these had been previously revealed by studies conducted by groups and individuals on the poll irregularities.

He also assailed Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos for consistently denying that the 2004 presidential contest had been tainted by massive fraud.

Pimentel said the Comelec, under the leadership of Abalos, dismally failed to look into the opposition complaints of cheating as shown in fabricated election returns, certificates of canvass and other election documents under the possession of the poll body.

He said the strange and irresponsible behavior of Abalos and other Comelec officials merely indicated that they conspired with former Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano in manipulating the poll results to give Mrs. Arroyo an artificial victory.

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