Garcillano not yet off the hook
- Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - June 9, 2012 - 12:00am

Manila, Philippines -  Former election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano is still facing charges in connection with the controversial “Hello, Garci” tape recording scandal, even though he was cleared of bribery by the Office of the Ombudsman.         

Bayan Muna Reps. Teddy Casiño and Neri Colmenares urged the Ombudsman yesterday to resolve the case and elevate it to the Sandiganbayan.         

The charges include perjury, falsification of public documents, and possessing and using a fake passport.         

“This is part of our campaign to hold corrupt government officials accountable for their crimes against the people,” Casiño said. The case against Garcillano stemmed from the joint investigation conducted by three committees of the House of Representatives in 2005 and early 2006 into the “Hello, Garci” scandal.

For six months, the former commissioner evaded the arrest warrant issued by the House. When he finally showed up, he denied he was the “Garci” in the tape recording, that he did not leave for Singapore and that he was all the while only in the country. He submitted to the House a passport which showed that he did not travel to Singapore as claimed by former Cavite representative Gilbert Remulla, who chaired one of the investigating committees.         

However, the committees received an official report from the Singaporean government that Garcillano arrived at Changi International Airport on the day Remulla said he went there.         

Casiño said he would rather believe the report of Singapore than Garcillano’s repeated claim that he did not leave the country in the months that he was in hiding. He said the former election official was clearly lying and even produced a fake passport to support his claim. In the “Hello, Garci” recording, a female caller whose voice is similar to that of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo discusses vote-rigging in the 2004 presidential election with “Garci,” believed to be Garcillano. 

BAYAN MUNA REPS CASI CHANGI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT GARCI GARCILLANO GILBERT REMULLA GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES NERI COLMENARES OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN
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