Philippines to reopen probe of 2004 poll fraud - report

by Thin Lei Win | @thinink | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 11:17 GMT

Election commission will reopen inquiry into generals allegedly involved in rigging 2004 presidential poll won by Arroyo

BANGKOK (TrustLaw) - The Philippines’ election commission (Comelec) will reopen investigations into generals allegedly involved in rigging the 2004 presidential poll, the Philippine Star has reported.

In that election, then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, now a congresswoman, beat the late popular actor Fernando Poe Jr.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes told a House appropriations subcommittee: “We will call all of them (the generals), whether they are retired or still in the active service.”

The “Garci” generals, as they are known, were mentioned in tapes that appeared several months after the ballot, and include Hermogenes Esperon, former chief of staff of the armed forces and commander of the presidential guards during Arroyo’s time as president.

The tapes are said to detail wiretapped telephone conversations between Arroyo and a former election official, Virgilio “Garci” Garcillano, discussing election operations in the southern region of Mindanao.

The Star said both Arroyo and Garcillano deny cheating, though Arroyo has admitted talking to an “election official”, saying it was a “lapse in judgment” for which she apologised in 2005.

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