Press Release
December 31, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said he is not surprised anymore over reports that the Arroyo administration will support the planned candidacy of former Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano for congressman in Bukidnon.

Pimentel said Garcillano was cleared by the Department of Justice of charges of perjury and falsification of public documents in connection with his testimony on the 2004 Garci tapes scandal, obviously in accordance with a Palace-prepared script, in preparation for his congressional candidacy.

He said the Palace is afraid that if it does not back Garcillano in his candidacy, the former poll commissioner may spill the beans on what he knew about the massive dagdag-bawas (vote padding and shaving) operations that enabled President Gloria Arroyo to steal the 2004 presidential election.

"It looks like they have no choice but to support Garci because he knows too much. But I think the support will not be given wholeheartedly. They will only be forced to do it due to circumstances. If they do not support him, they fear that he may say things that will be damaging to the administration," he said.

Already, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita has declared that administration's endorsement of Garcillano's candidacy could not be ruled out especially if he is not disqualified from running.

Pimentel said the ruling of the DOJ investigating panel dismissing the charges against Garcillano for lying and falsifying during his testimony before the House of Representatives was not unexpected.

He said the ruling is absurd and shows once more the DOJ's subservience to the Palace. Contrary to the DOJ's claim, he said there is ample documentary and testimonial evidence that Garcillano lied and perjured his statement before the House probe panel.

Pimentel said Garcillano's claim that he never left the country after the May, 2004 elections was belied by the official communications from Singaporean authorities that Garcillano arrived in Singapore on July 14, 2005 and left for London the following day.

"So the ruling of the DOJ is faulty because how can you disregard the written statement from Singaporean authorities that showed Garcillano really went to that country? These are in the records of the Singaporean immigration office," he said.

Pimentel said that between Garcillano's denial and the certification of Singaporean authorities, backed by documentary evidence, the latter is more credible and believable.

News Latest News Feed