MICHAELANGELO "Louie" S. Zuce, nephew of controversial former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, presented today a paper, as well as a mobile-phone, trail that pointed to how his uncle, with the blessing of the Arroyo administration, got election officials in Mindanao to support her candidacy in May 2004.

In a sworn statement executed today, Zuce charged that payoffs were made to Comelec field personnel in Mndanao, but none of the documents annexed to his statement so far showed the election officials had actually been bribed.

What the paper trail clearly shows is that Zuce, then a presidential staff officer and related to Garcillano by marriage, was instrumental in bringing Garcillano to the attention of his boss, presidential liaison officer for political affairs Jose Ma. A. Rufino.

Garcillano eventually organized the consultation meetings with Comelec field workers that got him into the president’s good graces and clinched his appointment as elections commissioner. The documents attached to Zuce’s affidavit indicate that the consultations took place and that Garcillano was reporting directly to the president through Rufino on the support Comelec officials in Mindanao were willing to provide to her candidacy.

Several documents also list the Comelec officials who took part in the “consultations.” Some of these officials later figured in the “Hello, Garci” conversations.

Consultations

The consultations were apparently the offshoot of Arroyo’s instructions given during her visit in Iligan City on Sept. 26, 2002 to Rufino’s office to “approximate the electoral pulse and secure a workable game-plan for the 2004 elections.”

A confidential memo from Rufino to the president dated Oct. 10, 2002 proposed a P2.4-million budget for the nationwide consultations "under the stewardship of Atty. Virgilio O. Garcillano."  Of the amount, P875,150 was allocated to the Mindanao meetings.  The memo referred to Garcillano as the “General."

Zuce said in his statement that the Luzon and Visayas meetings did not push through because Arroyo had announced on Dec. 30, 2002 that she was not running for president (although she subsequently changed her mind).

But as early as November and December of 2002, Virgilio Garcillano, who had just retired as Comelec director for Region 10, quietly organized three consultation meetings with election officials in Mindanao to evaluate President Arroyo’s chances of winning should she run in the May 2004 elections.

“The survey or consultation was undertakened (sic) for the purpose of getting the pulse of the electorate at (sic) this early,” Garcillano wrote the president in a Jan. 8, 2003 memorandum he submitted through Rufino.  “With the abundant challenges or pressures from the opposition, we cannot afford to be complacent, set (sic) idly and do nothing. We do not have the luxury of time and time (sic) to move is now.”

Garcillano also stated in the memo that he “scrupulously” planned the meetings to avoid arousing the suspicion of politicians and even his bosses that he was “pressuring” Comelec field personnel on the forthcoming elections.

A year later, a small planning meeting of regional directors and provincial election supervisors of Mindanao was held at the Grand Boulevard Hotel on Roxas Blouevard to discuss the president’s candidacy, according to Zuce.

Then, on Jan. 10 of 2004, Garcillano, through Rufino’s office, organized another meeting with 23 Mindanao election officials, again at the Grand Boulevard Hotel. On both these occasions, envelopes containing cash were given to the attendees (see “The messenger sings”).

Who were present

In his Jan. 8, 2003 memorandum to the president, Garcillano reported that he met 12 Comelec officials in Tubod, Lanao del Norte on Nov. 27, 2002; 10 election officials and staffmembers in General Santos at an unspecified date; and 10 Comelec officials and staffmembers in Tubod on Dec. 13. 

The memorandum showed that Zuce and Ferdinand Mahusay, political officer for Region 9, were in the Nov. 27 meeting in Lanao.  Zuce also attended the General Santos meeting along with Ricardo Ochea, political officer for the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Garcillano’s memorandum listed the following Comelec personnel as being present. Some of these would eventually surface in the “Hello, Garci” tapes:

Nov. 27 meeting: Renato Magbutay, Region 9 acting assistant director; Teofisto Elnas, provincial election supervisor (PES) of Zamboanga del Sur; Jay Balisado, Zamboanga Sibugay PES; Lordino Salvaña, Bukidnon PES; Matias Baclig Jr., Camiguin PES; Ray Sumalipao, Lanao del Norte PES; Francisco Pobe, Misamis Occidental PES; Arthur Mercado and Reinero Niese, representing Carlito Ravelo of Misamis Oriental; Deogracias Dumaguit of Dumalinao; Arnold Panuncialman of Pagadian City; Helen Mercado of Region 10; and Sarah Ebdalin, election officer of Tagaloan, Misamis Oriental.

General Santos meeting: Pedro Reganit Jr., Region 11 assistant director and Davao del Sur PES; Remlane Tambuang, Davao Oriental PES; Michael Abas, Saragani PES; Lintang Bedol, Sultan Kudarat PES; Kasan Usi, Maguindanao officer in charge (OIC); Dante Parenas, North Cotabato OIC; Marianne Magundadatu, Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao election officer; Elsa Otinen, Buluan Citing acting election officer; and two staffmembers of the Sarangani PES Office.  (Region 11 Director Lirio Joquino and Region 12 Director Callar were supposed to be in the meeting.  Garcillano said, however, Joquino, was out of the country at the time while Callar “is still under observation.”)

Dec. 13 meeting: Borromeo Patangan, Zamboanga del Norte PES; Reynaldo Pescadera, Sulu OIC; Idlana Mangona, Tawi Tawi OIC; Daryl Kenaso, Basilan OIC; Macmod Pangandaman, Lanao del Sur OCI; Rogelio Gongob, Agusan del Sur PES; Benedict Chee, election officer of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur; Egene Lanzaderas, a computer technician and two other statffmembers.

Zuce, who signed the P31,250 contract for the three-hour evening function at the Grand Boulevard Hotel on Jan. 10, 2004, annexed to his sworn statement the attendance sheet that bore the following names: Pobe, Reganit, Pescadera, Elnas, Balisado, Salvana, Ravelo, Bedol, Chee, Abas, Usi,  Tambuang and Sumalipao. Also on the list were Wilfredo Daraug of Basilan, Derwin P. Salasa of Tawi-Tawi; Joseph Cuevas of Camiguin; Ronnie Arado of Camiguin; Melicano Ganan of Quirino; Roland Edayan, Agusan del Norte PES, Cirlio Nala of  Surigeo del Sur;  Datusalangit Macalaba and  Maombao Pandi, both of Lanao del Sur.

Zuce did not provide a list of those present at the late 2003 meeting at the Grand Boulevard and at the La Vista dinner with the president.

Hello, Garci

Garcillano’s conversations with a number of Mindanao election officials were recorded in the controversial “Hello, Garci Tapes.”   These included:

  • Atty. Lintang Bedol, PES, Sultan Kudarat

    Arroyo beat Fernando Poe Jr. in Sultan Kudarat, 126,622 to 40,714.  But most of the taped conversations Garcillano had with or about Bedol were about Cotabato City, where the latter was subsequently assigned as chair of the Board of Canvassers.

    In the conversation that supposedly took place between Garcillano and the president on May 29, 2004, Arroyo wanted to know the extent of her defeat in Cotabato City and was assured that it would not exceed 40,000 votes. The elections commissioner said he and Bedol had already talked.

  • Renato Magbutay, then acting assistant director, Region 9

    Magbutay, who was the Comelec director for ARMM until the Gloriagate broke, is believed to be the “Boy” who discussed with Garcillano on June 5, 2004 the kidnapping of Rashma Hali, election officer in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan. Hali had voluntarily made an affidavit on the poll fraud allegedly perpetrated in the town.

    It was also Boy who raised the possibility that Patangan, who chaired Basilan’s board of canvassers in last year’s election, might  be suspected of reversing the count at the provincial level.

  • Rey Sumalipao, then Lanao del Sur PES

    This Comelec official was identified by Garcillano in his phone conversation with Arroyo on June 8 as the supervisor whom he would ask to answer Namfrel Abdullah Dalidig’s allegations of "dagdag-bawas" (vote padding and shaving) in Lanao del Sur.  Sumalipao and Garcillano are heard discussing on another occasion a move "to continue the canvassing but suspend the proclamation." Sumalipao will be in charge of the ARMM elections this Aug. 8.

Also referred to in the Garci tapes were Macalaba, Tambuang, Abas and Daraug (see "Arroyo and ARMM" and the "Cast of characters").

Rufino’s endorsement

On Nov. 28, 2003, Rufino endorsed Garcillano’s appointment to the president. In a handwritten marginal note to the president, he said of Garcillano, "He will be a great asset to you. He has proven track record and can deliver!"

In his letter applying for the post of Comelec commissioner, Garcillano reminded the president that he was one of those approached by her husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo, when she ran for senator in 1995. He was then Comelec director for Region 10.

The letter also cited his role in monitoring and protecting the votes of Lakas senatorial candidates in Mindanao in the 2001 elections.

Garcillano reminded the president that it was at a dinner at the Palace after the 2001 elections that Arroyo mentioned her intention to appoint him commissioner. "If given the chance, I will not put (sic) your Excellency down," he said.

Arroyo appointed Garcillano Comelec commissioner in February 2004.

Mobile-phone trail

Zuce said that on Feb. 13, 2004, he received from the personal secretary of Lilia "Baby" Pineda, wife of alleged jueteng lord Rodolfo "Bong" Pineda, a mobile phone that was to be the "hotline" where the president, the Pinedas and other promiment people would be calling Garcillano.

He said Garcillano had asked to him to pick up the package from Pineda’s house in Greenhills, San Juan.

He said the box containing the phone was already opened when it was handed to him. Pineda’s secretary then explained that a SIM card had been inserted into the unit.

Zuce said his role in the May 2004 elections was to monitor  Comelec officials and employees in Mindanao to ensure Arroyo’s victory. Before he left for Mindanao prior to the polling, his uncle gave him P500,000. Of this, P100,00 was set aside for his family; P100,000 for his Mindanao expenses; P50,000 for  Comelec’s Oscar Rabanes to whom Pineda was reportedly asked to issue the vehicles  to be used in the  special operations in Mindanao.

He said he got the help of Butch Paquingan who he said was reporting directly to then Executive Secretary Alberto Romulo.

Ernesto "Butch" Paquingan told Sun-Star Cagayan de Oro last July 8 that he and Garcillano are both members of the Knights of Rizal and admitted having done PR work for Comelec officials.

He said he also worked for politicians in Mindanao in the 2004 elections, including Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas.   He told Sun-Star he now works for Sen. Serge Osmeña as a consultant in a cocofarm project and the congressional oversight committee on Agriculture and Fishers Modernization in Mindanao.

Paquingan, who was identified as having conversed with Garcillano in the “Hello, Garci” tapes, said there was no proof that it was his voice in the tapes.

In the tapes, Garcillano is also heard instructing a certain Louie, said to be Zuce, and George Goking to proceed to his house for a meeting "para hindi na ako ma-expose (so I won’t be exposed)." In that conversation, Louie addresses the commission as “’cle,” short for uncle.

Goking is a Chinese-Filipino businessman based in Cagayan deo Oro who was appointed by Arroyo as Pagcor director and Cabinet officer for regional development. He is said to be one of the president’s fund-raisers in Cagayan de Oro.

Goking told Sun-Star Cagayan de Oro he believes the “Hello, Garci” tapes had been doctored.

39 Responses to Louie and Garci: The paper and cellphone trail

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michaeljosh

August 1st, 2005 at 10:44 pm

Great work!

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ronin

August 2nd, 2005 at 1:51 am

Anak ng jueteng!

I hope you can post the annexes to Zuce’s sworn statement!

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neofinoy

August 2nd, 2005 at 2:11 am

kapit tuko pa rin si GINANG GLORIA MACAPAL-ARROYO?

TALAGANG LANG HA…SIGE KUMAPIT KA PA NG MAIGI…

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ibacan

August 2nd, 2005 at 3:33 am

grand conspiracy exposed. . . andami ko na natututuhan sa larangan ng politics. . .ngayon medyo alam na natin kung ano ang dapat bantayan pag election

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CGBacani

August 2nd, 2005 at 3:48 am

After all these information which I believe is also available to members of Congress, hindi ko na lubos maisip kung ano klaseng mga congresista tayo if they will not push through for the impeachment of GMA. Indeed GMA has to answer all theee questions and stop blaming that there are all black propaganda.

I can say that her response too are all lies black propaganda. So to get to the bottomline of the issues, isampa na ang impeachment.

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nolram

August 2nd, 2005 at 7:36 am

pasensya na kayo kung ang comment ko ay hindi akma sa topic na pinaguusapan.

naiinis na ako kasi sa pinagdadaldal ng DOJ Sec. na siRaul Goonzales. wala nang matinong press release galing sa kanya. puro pananakot at pambabastos palagi ang laman ng bunganga niya. sayang ang pera ng bayan na pinapasweldo sa kanya. sa palagay ko nabubulok na ang kanyang utak. dapat sa kanya ay pasakan ng bulak ang butas ng kanyang bunganga at ilong at pagkatapos ay turukan ng formalin kasi mukhang bangkay na siya at nasimula nang naaagnas ang kanyang utak.

HOY RAUL GONZALES, BELAT SANG ILOY MO!
FIRST CLASS TICKET KA GID!
MAGHIPOS NA IKAW DIRA. LINTI KA GID!

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gangster_roger

August 2nd, 2005 at 8:39 am

Is this going to lead to GMA’s impeachment? I dont think so. The constitution gave her enough power to protect herself.

We are a presidential government. The elections are strictly scheduled and all allegations must be proved in impeachment proceedings. And if she is impeached the vice president becomes president. Thats the law and the President has everything in her power to enforce that.

If you all dont want Noli De Castro then we need to change the constitution! I dont think you want Loren Legarda either.

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RONALD IGNACIO

August 2nd, 2005 at 8:48 am

Sa lahat ng umaasang mag resign si Pangulong Arroyo because of the new testimony of Louie..sorry na lang kayo kasi di talaga magbibitiw si Arroyo kasi ang kaunod ng pagbibitiw eh pag ka wala ng kanyang immunity,pag wala na siyang immunity eh di na hukay ang mga corruptions niyang ginawa at nakasuhan siya ng plunder.Kayo kaya????Gusto nyo bang maging ka kosa si Erap???Kung Umaasa naman kayo na mag react ng for impeachment ang mga Congressman ASA PA KAYO.Di natin alam baka kabahagi sila ng malaking dayaan kaya todo depensa sila sa Pangulo???

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RUDYpilay

August 2nd, 2005 at 9:10 am

Ginang Arroyo, malapit na ang araw ng paghuhusga.

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Bullet

August 2nd, 2005 at 9:42 am

It’s disgusting to know what kind of electoral system we have in our country. This comelec officials violated their oaths just to cheat for GMA in exchange of ‘jueteng’ money, and up to now they receiving salaries from us taxpayers. Bullshit!! Dapat talaga iprivitize na ang Comelec .. pati na ang Congeso, Senado at Malacanang.

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enlightened_pinay

August 2nd, 2005 at 10:17 am

gangster_roger, lets refrain from using the constitution for us not to pursue the truth and set punishment to those who violated the same constitition thats supposed to protect them.

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Chihiro

August 2nd, 2005 at 10:27 am

naiinis na ko. masyado tayong complacent. ano pa ba ang iniintay natin? simutin ni Gloria ang buong kaban ng bayan? sagarin nya ang kahihiyan at dignidad ng Pilipino?

ano pa ba ang kailangan para kumilos na tayo?

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timawang_batas

August 2nd, 2005 at 10:47 am

Malacanang is restless.

Unverified reports emanating from the Palace said that insiders are jokingly branding this week as “TODAS LOS SANTOS”, with a naughty hint of a downfall as another “Suce” prototype is expected to surface

Gloria may brand this as a QUADROPLE HEARSAY or another scheme of PAID WITNESSE.

But there is no stopping the truth to come-out.

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furor_scribendi

August 2nd, 2005 at 11:01 am

The sordid details of Gloria’s “new politics” are slowly coming out.
Our nation’s finally purging itself of dirty trapos, politicos, and their operators. Hope we all learn from this. May this generation nurture a more vigilant and more caring nation. Long live the fighter’s pen!

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ole

August 2nd, 2005 at 11:11 am

galing talaga magplano ni gma, kasama na jan yung pagpaparehistro ng lahat ng boboto, sabay kami ng misis ko nagparehistro, pero ng botohan nya, pangalan lang nya ang nakita ko, ang sa akin wala na! kasama ng 10% ng hindi nakaboto, inilipat kaya ang pangalan ko sa basilan? o kaya ay nabilang na ang boto ko bago pa man ang eleksyon? pandagdag ba….

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Partisanong Lagalag

August 2nd, 2005 at 11:16 am

Pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are now coming into place. The whole picture is slowly taking shape. From the Garci tapes and now the Zuce expose, everything is coming together in one piece. Malacanang is now left plugging holes in the dam of truth with their fingers.

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miron

August 2nd, 2005 at 11:23 am

i really appreciate the spade work you guys are doing. i’m worried about how a lot us are losing the patience it will take to get to the bottom of what is looking more and more like a bottomless pit.

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rgrosario

August 2nd, 2005 at 11:40 am

norlam- ako din pikon na pikon na kay raul gonsalez, tuwing napapanood ko siya sa mga interview asar na asar na ako.

bakit pa kasi andyan pa yan sa doj wala naman nagagawa sayang lang pasahod natin sa kanya.

Pls. Mr. secretary of doj, pls disappear na, hindi ka namai kailangan dito sa pilipinas dapat sa iyo sa mars na lang pumunta o kaya sa iraq, para ma kidnap ka din.

Hindi ka namin tatantanan hanggang nakaupo ka pa.

Madam President minus factor sa iyo si doj secretary siraulo gonzales.

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MitaMS

August 2nd, 2005 at 12:48 pm

How far can the Senate take these hearings? Nothing has happened in the past Senate hearings so I think I’m justified to ask – is this going anywhere?

Whatever Zuce’s motives are (kumita na sya dito apparently) if there’s undeniable proof to corroborate his allegations, what can the Senate do about it?

I was not kidding about checking with McDo employees in an earlier post about whether the group stopped by that night. Corroborate, corroborate, corroborate…the Senate is full of lawyers for goodness’ sake, and I’m not just talking about the Senators…pati staff ng mga senador at senate staff na din…

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PopsJ

August 2nd, 2005 at 1:25 pm

Chihiro, kakantahan na lang kita.

ANG BAYAN KONG PILIPINAS
LUPAIN NG GINTO’T BULAKLAK
………..
IBON MAN MAY LAYANG LUMIPAD
……………………….
AKING ADHIKA
MAKITA KANG SAKDAL LAYA

Pasensiya na..yan ang tugon ko sa iyong mga katanungan.

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P.N. Abinales

August 2nd, 2005 at 1:30 pm

Does anyone know where Garci came from? I listened to the tape, and his Visayan is definitely not Cebuano…more northern Mindanao. Yikes, a kababayan from Kuratong Baleleng country?

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enlightened_pinay

August 2nd, 2005 at 1:49 pm

i read from PCIJ mag that although he is of Ilocano descent, Garci grew up in Mindanao.

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P.N. Abinales

August 2nd, 2005 at 2:05 pm

Enlightened Pinay. Thanks but Mindanao is quite big. Demographers who tracked the movement of migrants to Mindanao point to the Davao areas as well as the Cotabato/Magindanao zones where Ilocanos settled. But going by his voice, his Visayan accent is definitely northern Mindanawan (I know this since my Visayan is similar to his).

The other thing that is interesting is where Garci’s nephew Zuce said he met with other COMELEC officials: Tubod, Lanao del Norte. As I wrote in MLQ3’s blog, to anyone coming from that part of Mindanao, Tubod has had that legendary image as the place where all misdeeds are made — from getting fake licenses and/or car registrations, to repackaging carnapped vehicles in preparation for being sold legally (Sen. Enrile’s Pajero was supposedly found in Tubod a week after it was carnapped in Manila — one of the stories coming from the place). There are also rumors of drug hauls from China and smuggled rice from Vietnam being coursed through Tubod.

I love visiting the place when home, because it is quaint and the people friendly; the crabs and bangus are to die for there, too. Apart from the friendship and the delicacies, though, there are other amenities that the town offers. I guess, now, including how to (re)count or manufacture votes. Ahh…Tubod!

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timawang_batas

August 2nd, 2005 at 2:54 pm

To P.N. Abinales

I first met the then COMELEC Regional Director Virgilio Garciliano in Cagayan de Oro way back in 1993 during a local assembly of leaders organized then by Mayor Magtajas. At first, I thought he was a true-blooded Bisaya/Mindanaoan, primarily because he was conversant in the local dialect. He, however, corrected my impression of him by saying he is half-ilocano and half-bicolano,but, he added with a hearty laugh,that sometimes he believed he is really a GI- Genuine Ilocano. Thus, I called him manong garci everytime we have a chance to meet in different functions.

Before the scandal hit the guy, I knew manong garci at a professional level as a soft-spoken and kind-hearted man. He is well-connected too in Mindanao and mind you, he can really deliver the goods– in my case, positively.

IF rumors and hearsays were to be believed, manong garci is being tightly guarded by Ebdane with a dose of help from a cabinet secretary. I suggests PCIJ will do an investigative research on this.

And for manong garci, this is I have to say : I believe you have the power in your hands to change the Philippine political landscape— Offer yourself as a supreme sacrifice by telling the truth just like what Rizal has done for our country.

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P.N. Abinales

August 2nd, 2005 at 3:21 pm

Thanks Timawang_Batas for the info. So he was Ilocano who was assigned to Mindanao way back the Marcos era, no? Amazing how fast he learned the Visayan!

And yes, we hope Manong Garci is blogging and wil heed your panawagan to make the supreme sacrifice.

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Sheila Coronel

August 2nd, 2005 at 3:40 pm

To set the record straight on Garci. It is best, as always, to get the paper trail. Garci’s official curriculum vitae, submitted to the Office of the President together with Joey Rufino’s endorsement of his appointment to the Comelec, lists his birthplace as San Leon, Balungao, Pangasinan. He finished law at the UE in 1960 and after passing the bar, he joined the Comelec as a Special Attorney in 1961, stationed in Sulu. He must have picked up the northern Mindanao accent when he became election registrar in Iligan City 1964-69. While he was also stationed in Lanao, he served mostly in northern Mindanao as regional director, based mainly in Cagayan de Oro. His family home (which he shares with his wife) is in Kauswagan, CDO and he spent most of his Comelec years (1976-86; 1994-2002) in that city.

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jonathan

August 2nd, 2005 at 3:42 pm

P.N. Abinales,

Garci’s origins are Pangasinan. But they settled in Northern Mindanao (iligan and cagayan de oro) where he was Comelec official for a long time. There are also Garcillanos in Iligan closely related to him. Think he was also once Comelec official in Iligan. Makes me wonder, why can’t he help his first cousin who run for pulic office in Iligan win if really he has that clout? Tubod is the capital of Lanao del Norte and seat of provicial government where the Dimaporos rule. As a haven for smuggled drugs and rice? I dont think they have a port there that can handle international vessels. But sure, they have roro port for the Ozamis and Tubod connection. The legendary place for carnapped cars registration and other “misdeeds” is none other than Marawi City. Tubod is a busy town used as a crossing point for people coming from the Zamboanga Peninsula and Misamis Occidental who are travelling to Cagayan de Oro or Iligan. Populated mostly by Christians, it is definitely within radar of the media and opposition parties. In Lanao, if election shenanigans are made, they don’t have to do it by changing election results for this can be spotted by reps of political parties plus the observers. It is no secret over there how its done especially in the Muslim-dominated areas. First, buy the clan chief. The clan chief usually decides who the whole clan will vote for. True, FPJ is popular as an actor among the Muslims, but at the end of the day, they follow who their elders will anoint. You’re talking about a group of people here who are 60% illiterate. Second, to increase the number of voters, dead people are never reported. Hence, come election day these “ghosts” will vote. Third, some astute politicians “fly” these voters armed with multiple voting ids from one election precint to the next for multiple voting. It is not uncommon for a town to have their total number of voters more than the towns population. They usual give the reason that those are former residents returning home to vote. Now, these practices have been there for a long, long time. That’s why elections there are almost always bloody for local politicians.

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newsroombarkada

August 2nd, 2005 at 4:03 pm

Why Zuce’s Testimony is Weak (as expressed by Sen. Santiago)

1. Unreasonable dealy. It took Zuce more than a year to testify, which is unaaceptable under Supreme Court rulings. “Failure to reveal what one had witnessed about a crime fro a number of days, or weeks, or even a number of months, is allowable. But that will not hold true, where the delay had unreasonably stretched all too far out in a year and four months, especially in the absence of any compelling or rational basis for such self-imposed and lengthy silence. Tha natural reaction of one who witness as crime is to reveal it to the authorities.” (People v. Bautista 1998).

2. Improper motives. Zuce’s first motivation is apparently revenge. He was forced to resign because of absenteeism, according to his former boss, Undersecretary Raymundo Roquero. His second motivation is money. Zuce’s officemates said he owed them P80,000.

3. Insufficient circumstantial evidence. While Zuce claimed that his group had dinner with President Arroyo, it was only after his group left when Lilia Pineda allegedly gave the money envelopes.

Several failed whistle-blowers should have taught us how to dissect their credibility and the soundness of their testimonies.

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P.N. Abinales

August 2nd, 2005 at 4:09 pm

Thanks for the info Sheila and Jonathan…makes Garci a more interesting fellow. And like Tubod, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte is also one fascinating place.

A quick note to Jonathan’s observation that Tubod does not have the capacity “to handle international vessels.” The vessels need not dock in Tubod pier (which can only handle a ferry) but can wait just outside Panguil bay for smaller boats to bring in the haul. During the late Ramos and Erap eras, the transfer of cargo — rice or drugs — were said to be even done under the supervision and protection of the Coast Guard.

Jonathan is also correct in pointing to Marawi city as the legendary carnap capital of Pinas. But I think for a time, especially during the MNLF wars, Tubod gave Marawi a run for its money. The Dimaporos, who controlled much of the area around Tubod, assured that there was less fighting in the place, and thus business deals were better protected than in constantly combat-plagued Marawi. After the MNLF signed the peace agreement with the government, Marawi slowly fell under the control of MNLF reformists (including the current mayor), and this proved to be a boon for Tubod. I am sure cars and other stuff are still being processed in Marawi, but if you are Christian (and fear kidnapping) in northern Mindanao, you go to Tubod.

The link to Tubod indeed goes through my dear hometown, Ozamis City, which is, in itself, a fascinating, strange and sometimes scary town.

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lumpen

August 2nd, 2005 at 4:28 pm

Despite the cell tapping and the new witness, Her Royal High Nest Gloria continues to be unaffected and dismisses all new charges as fabricated by people who need to earn. That leaves almost all Filipinos, except the cohorts of HRHN Gloria, incredible as witnesses.

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fencesitter

August 2nd, 2005 at 5:22 pm

I agree with some opinion that the testimony of John Zuce is potentially damaging to the president. I do not find his testimony incredible at all as some would suggst. All they have to do is verify the hotel where these officials were bellited to see whether Zuce is lying. But that is if registration at the hotel was under the officials name. Kung ang nagregister sa kanila ibang pnagalan, madaling pasinungalingan yan. I think Zuce is telling the truth.

But so what if Zuce is telling the truth wala namang mangyayari kay gloria kasi wala naman tayong ginagawa. Kung totoo ang mga akusasyon mas malala pa si gloria kay erap.

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lawspeak_007

August 2nd, 2005 at 5:24 pm

Assuming that Zuce’s allegations is cognizable by a proper forum which is an impeachment trial at the Senate, then it follows that all other evidence presented including Zuce’s evidence shall be evaluated and be judged by the Senators, and to sustain a decision of conviction must be concurred in by at least two-thirds of all members of the Senate.

An impeachment is neither a civil nor a criminal trial but a political one. It follows that the weight and sufficiency of evidence is indeterminate as of this moment as the members of the Senate still need to decide what rules of evidence shall be adapted.

For starters, in civil cases, preponderance of evidence is enough while in criminal cases, to sustain conviction, then the guilt should be beyond reasonable doubt. Substantial evidence is enough in cases before administrative and quasi-judicial bodies.

Hence, it is erroneous for some to dismiss Zuce’s allegations for being weak without considering the whole gamut of the impeachment process.

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furor_scribendi

August 2nd, 2005 at 10:37 pm

Media is a dynamic player in the unfolding Gloriagate drama. Since the selfish interests of most members of Congress make their official actions of dubious political wisdom, the merits of the evidence against Gloria would be weighed more in the bar of public opinion rather than in Congress. The media spinsters in the payroll of politicos know this astutely well, that is why PCIJ’s brand of journalism should be more popularized as the people’s best option in order to intelligently shape public opinion towards a more vigilant and militant citizenry, and ultimately towards the building of a more mature political culture.

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freyja

August 3rd, 2005 at 4:13 pm

newsroom barkada said:

“1. Unreasonable dealy (sic). It took Zuce more than a year to testify, which is unaaceptable (sic) under Supreme Court rulings. … But that will not hold true, where the delay had unreasonably stretched all too far out in a year and four months, especially in the ABSENCE of any COMPELLING or RATIONAL BASIS for such self-imposed and lengthy silence. Tha (sic) natural reaction of one who witness (sic) as (sic) crime is to reveal it to the authorities.” (People v. Bautista 1998).

— If you are an unwilling witness to the crime, then I agree, that speaking out and going to the authorities (if you have any conscience) is the natural tendency. But what if you are part of the crime, a willing accomplice, wouldn’t you also hold your silence? That is also a natural tendency- self-preservation. The SC opinion even states, “in the ABSENCE of any compelling or rational basis…” In this case, there is a compelling reason for him to keep silent.

“2. Improper motives. …. revenge. ”

— In most cases, whistle-blowers do have some axe to grind against the other participants in the crime or might even be their partners in crime, motivating them to speak out. That is also a natural tendency. You don’t rock the boat, so to speak, if you’re happy with the way it’s going and you are benefitting from it. Now it seems Zuce is no longer happy with it. He even has every reason to believe that his life is now in danger.

“3. Insufficient circumstantial evidence. … only after his group left when Lilia Pineda allegedly gave the money envelopes.”

— These are their “tokens of appreciation” so I see the logic for these to be given away when they are on their way out. Haven’t you attended parties yet? The first order of business had to be done and over with before this teeny-weeny detail. This also gives all the more reason for everyone to stay on, willing or not (but I presume all willing) till the speaker has spoken HER last sentence.

“Several failed whistle-blowers should have taught us how to dissect their credibility and the soundness of their testimonies.”

— I agree, this is so true. But the above-mentioned reasons are not valid enough to just sweep Zuce’s testimonies under the rug. He presented a ton of details and I believe these were not offered just to make it juicy. I believe his handlers know that these details will be corroborated by the media, and they would heartily welcome these actions.

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Filipinoy

August 4th, 2005 at 9:00 am

I would like to share a THEORY on our political situation:

It started from the Jueteng Lords.
Jueting Lords lead by the PINEDA’s, invest a huge sum of money to ensure PGMA win in the 2004 election thru Garci, hoping that they will be protected by the president.
For insurance, they gave Garci a cellphone thru Louie. This cellphone is set to be wiretapped since all technical information of this equipment is already recorded by the PINEDAs. It is now very easy to “clone” this cellphone since technical information is available to them. They apid ISAF agents to record the conversation that would come in thru this phone. It was the PINEDAs that order the wiretap for the main reason that this wiretap material will be used to black mail PGMA in case she will attack the jueteng operations.
In early this year, PGMA announced an “all-out-war against jueteng”, and the Senate inquiry followed it. So the jueting lords led by PINEDA’s was dismayed and since blackmailing the president would not work now, they release the “tapes” to the opposition in order to bring PGMA down and they can again support another president to favor them.

My conclusion is that it is the jueteng lords led by the PINEDA’s that is controlling our country not the politicians as we see it today. These people are the one’s creating the president and they are also the one who destroy her.

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rob

August 4th, 2005 at 12:39 pm

it is really a grand conspiracy…sana mahalukay din ung papel ng namfrel and SC kase mukhamg planadong planado lahat. specially ung elction fraud.

its time to speak up lalo na sa mga iba pang involve dito.

lumantad na kayo!

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CGBacani

August 7th, 2005 at 5:14 pm

Jueteng lords have in fact played a decisive role in our socio-political life for the past years. Before, Jueteng is just a municipal concern. All they have to bribe was the town’s chief of police. In fact there are no bribes that goes to the mayors. Later on they have managed to operate on a provincial level and now on the regional and national level.

The supervision and control of police under the local government code change this setup. The mayors ang governors were included in the payola.

Later on they have penetrated the halls of Malacanang and this is most revealing during the time of the Estrada administration and worst under the regime of PGMA.

It is alarming that they have reached the political clout and sophistication to influence the election not only of local officials but the highest official of the land, the President. This was possible because we have a president who allowed herself to be supported by jueteng money.

PGMA have prostituted the presidency!!!

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joe

August 7th, 2005 at 7:02 pm

Sa tingin ko lang hindi bababa si gloria kahit ano pa ang gawin ng oposisyon, lalo na at pag kuha palng ng signature ng mga mambabatas nahihirapan na, wala na tayong maaasahan na maganda pa ang mangyayari, ang oposisyon wala ding matibay na alternatibo sa lederato na papalit kay gloria, sana tayo na na ordenaryong mamamayan ang magsalita at mag endorso ng gusto natin at humingi na lamang ng suporta sa mga grupong sasangayon sa pinagkakaisahan ng sambayanan, naniniwala ako na pag ang taong bayan ang kumilos at magkaisa tiyak na para sa lahat at di tulad ng mga maimluensyang politiko na kikilos ngunit mayhalong pangsarili, NAWAY ANG PCIJ AY GUMAWA NG PARAAN UPANG MAORGANISA ANG NAIS NG ORDENARYONG MAMAMAYAN naniniwala ako na walang makakagawa nito maliban sa maytaos na paniniwala sa katutuhanan at sa kapakanan ng maralita, PANAWAGAN KO LANG! WAG NA NATING HINTAYIN O SISIHIN ANG OPOSISYON NA MAGPAKITA NA ALERNATIBO, DAPAT TAYO ANG MAGSALITA NG PARA SA ATIN DAHIL TAYO ANG NAKARARAMI AT TAYO ANG NAKAKARANAS NG MATINDING PAGHIHIRAP AT HINDI SILA!!!MABUHAY TAYONG LAHAT!!!

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INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Jueteng lord gave P300M to GMA campaign, says Garci's security officer

August 10th, 2005 at 6:55 pm

[…] Goking and Paquingan are recorded in the wiretapped tapes to have spoken with Garcillano. Both have denied it was them. (See “Louie and Garci: The paper and cellphone trail”) […]

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