June 7, 2012
Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter S. Cayetano
After seven years, "Hello Garci" still haunts the country
I rise today on a matter of personal and collective privilege. Today, we are celebrating the seventh year of the "Hello Garci". It was on this day that a press secretary played two electronic copies of the "Hello Garci" tapes. This Hello Garci issue then became the mother of all evil issues - of cheating, stealing and of lying by the highest officials of the land as well as the efforts to cover it all up.
While charges have been filed in court regarding the cheating in the 2007 elections, there have been a lot of unresolved issues regarding the 2004 elections. It is sad that former Commissioner Garcillano still faces a lot of pending and unresolved cases. Worse, many of the so-called Garci boys have even been promoted in key positions in the Commission on Elections.
No wonder many of the witnesses against the accused are having second thoughts on telling what they know in the respective courts. They see that people who perpetuated these electoral frauds continue to retain their positions and even enjoy their retirement benefits in Comelec.
I urge my colleagues - many of them who are here today have fought and sacrificed a lot to resolve these issues - to conduct our own inquiry and use the powers given to us. The Senate, whether it be through oversight or powers for inquiry, should find out who were at fault then, determine if they are still in Comelec now, investigate if these syndicates are still intact, and know if they are now toying or tinkering with the automated form of elections.
This is the 'racket' of these erring officials and there is nothing to stop them in tinkering even in the 2013 elections if we don't put much effort to look into these and resolve the issue.
I'd just like to take advantage of this symbolic day. Seven years is a long time. I hope that these pending cases tainting our elections get resolved so that we can have a real clean, honest and credible election in 2013.
Thank you for the opportunity to raise this issue once again.
Thursday, May 16
Wednesday, May 15
Tuesday, May 14
Monday, May 13
Sunday, May 12