Press Release
December 24, 2006

Senator Jinggoy Estrada assails DOJ for
clearing Garcillano of falsifying documents

Opposition stalwart Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada yesterday denounced the Department of Justice (DOJ) for clearing former election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano of "lying and falsifying documents" before a congressional inquiry to avoid prosecution in the May 2004 elections wiretap scandal.

According to Estrada, the DOJ ruling proved that the Arroyo Administration is "covering up" the alleged election fraud committed by Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the 2004 polls.

"The people should condemn this blatant disregard for the rule of law with the whitewash of the Garciallano case," Estrada said, adding:

"Disregarding the rule of law by the Arroyo Administration has become habitual. Yet no matter how many times the Arroyo administration washes its hands particularly in the 2004 presidential elections, their hands remain dirty in the eyes of the general public."

In a 12-page resolution, Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon said there is no probable cause to prosecute Garcillano for the 21 counts of perjury, or lying before a congressional inquiry.

Fadullon added the controversial former election official did not falsify his passport to make it appear that he did not leave the country at the height of the controversy linking him to the wiretap controversy last year.

He said it would be unfair to Garcillano "to answer for the charges filed against him, however sensational or scandalous the committed acts may be where the reasonable probability of his guilt thereon has not been fairly established by the State."

The resolution stating the dismissal of the charges was dated Nov. 14, but was only received by Garcillano's lawyer Eddie Tamondong yesterday. One of the country's leading newspapers obtained a copy of the resolution.

Estrada said Garcillano should be held accountable for lying to Congress and helping Mrs. Arroyo win in the 2004 elections.

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