WEARING pins stamped with the fairy tale character Pinocchio, whose nose grew everytime he told a lie, opposition congressmen put former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano through a relentless inquisition at a hearing today, pinning him down on where he had been since he disappeared from public view in June, particularly on July 14 when he was reported to have landed in Singapore and July 15, when he was said to have left for London.

Garcillano’s categorical reply: “I never left the Philippines.”

Responding to a series of questions from Rep. Teodoro Locsin, chair of the House committee on suffrage and electoral reform, the elections official said he was never in Singapore, London, Brazil, and Malaysia, places where he was rumored to have been kept in hiding with the help of administration supporters.

The line of questioning was apparently intended to set Garcillano up for perjury or contempt for lying to the House of Representatives. The opposition is confident it has documents, including a note verbale from the Singaporean Foreign Ministry, which showed that Garcillano had landed in Singapore on July 14.

Former committee on public information chair Rep. Gilbert Remulla asked the five committees that are conducting the hearing to get additional documents and a videotape from the Singapore airport authorities showing Garcillano embarking on or disembarking from a plane or going through immigration in the city state.

There was a heated exchange early on in the hearing when Alagad Partly-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta repeatedly insisted that his motion to terminate the hearing be resolved first. Marcoleta said the inquiry was a waste of time because Garcillano continued to be an evasive and nonresponsive witness.

The motion was deferred by the committees twice as Locsin said they needed time to conisder it, possbily during the lunch break.

Minority floor leader Rep. Francis Escudero objected to the motion, saying it was meant to disrupt the hearings and was not in accordance with House rules.

“Garcillano mentioned, named and impugned the character of these people,” Escudero said, referring to the officials Garcillano said he either met or spoke with during and after the elections. “These people have to present their side,” he insisted.

Rep. Clavel Martinez added Marcoleta’s motion was not properly filed since not all of the five committee heads were notified and that it was supposed to be submitted three days before the hearing. Marcoleta only filed his motion this morning.

During this morning’s hearing, Garcillano merely reiterated his earlier testimony that he never left the country and he would not speak on the tapes unless they were authenticated. (Click here and here for earlier posts).

Garcillano said he still feared for his life and lamented that it will be a long time before he will have his normal life back.

“I just would like to tell the truth. Because probably there are some who wouldn’t want me to tell the truth,” he said, adding that the threats came from “either side of the fence,” referring to people from the administration, the opposition, and the military.

The former commissioner also revealed that his assistant, Atty. Renault Macarambon of the Commission on Elections, kept a record of the conversations he had with certain politicians.

When Locsin asked where the journal might be, Garcillano said the Comelec confiscated all of his office belongings and he could not say if the journal still existed.

Ilocos Rep. Roque Ablan at one point interrupted the hearing when he inquired why his name was not included in the list of people the Comelec official spoke with. Ablan said he called to complain about three election officers in his province and Garcillano promised to look into the matter.

Garcillano also failed to submit his passport to the committee and said he will do so tomorrow, in time for the deadline set by the House last week.

14 Responses to Garcillano asserts he never left the country

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indio_lawless

December 13th, 2005 at 3:22 pm

Garcillano is a Pinochio-reincarnate indeed.

If that’s the case, what do we call Rep. Antonino then ?

Did I hear someone say : obstructionist ? or abortionist? :)

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indio_lawless

December 13th, 2005 at 3:25 pm

Erratum : lapses in spelling : Pinocchio with double c rather than Pinochio with one C.

C as in Cheater. Double C for Callus Cheater :)

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men0k

December 13th, 2005 at 3:42 pm

Ano itatawag natin kay Antonino?… It is very evident na matalino syang tao kaya dapat lang na tawagin syang matalinong-tao…. matalinong-tao-na-nagpapagago :-)

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matahari

December 13th, 2005 at 3:49 pm

ewan ko, tingin ko jan si Palito na tumaba he he, sayang articulate pa naman

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baycas

December 13th, 2005 at 8:22 pm

geppetto?

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men0k

December 13th, 2005 at 8:31 pm

hehehe.. nice one, baycas :-)

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luzviminda

December 14th, 2005 at 12:20 am

Sabi ni Garci, “I just would like to tell the truth”. Ibig sabihin gusto nyang magsabi ng totoo per hindi nya masabi. Sabi pa nya, he still feared for his life. – Eh, hawak ka ba naman ng mga GANGSTER sa MalacaƱang eh, ba’t di ka matatakot! Sorry Garci, I think you can NEVER FIND PEACE! Sabi sa Biblia, ‘You REAP what you SOW’!

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Leo

December 14th, 2005 at 12:24 am

Sa aking pananaw si Garci ay biktima ng mga sinaunang bulok na sistema ng gobyerno na patuloy na dumadaloy sa ating lipunan. Ang mga prominenteng tao na kasapakat niya sa malawakang pandaraya sa nakaraaang halalan ay mga nagsunog ng kilay sa larangan ng pulitika. Hindi maikakaila na mayroon silang kahandaan at sapat na makinarya upang maisakatuparan ng buong husay ang nasabing anomalya. Ang pagkakatuklas sa katiwalian ay kasama sa mga inihandang plano ng grupo ni Garci, sa katunayan maging ang paglikas ni Garci patungong ibang bansa ay isang malinaw na indikasyon na kasama ito sa mga naunang plano. Isang taon na ang lumipas at ang isang taon ay nagdudumali na namang dumarating, na ang nasabing pagdinig sa kaso ni Garci sa senado ay malamang na abutin rin ng isa pa uling nakababagot na taon. Si Garci ay biktima ng nakasusulakasok na amoy ng katiwalian. At siya ay hindi makakatakas dito. Siya ay mananatiling bilanggo ng bulok na sistemang patuloy na ipinakakain sa atin ng mga umuugit ng ating pamahalaan. Si Garci ay gaya ng isang pinitas na bulaklak,,, maluluoy, malalanta at itatapon sa labas upang pagkatapos ay sunugin ang kanyang kaluluwa sa kumukulong apoy at asupre.

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bukolitos

December 14th, 2005 at 4:33 am

Selective memory. Iyan ang panangga nang isang nagsisinungaling dahil mayroon siyang prinoprotectahan. There was a conspirancy to hide the truth and fool the people. SOP na sa Malacanang dahil sa kanila walang binatbat ang mga masa. Madaling lukohin dahil nagpapakaloko. It is possible na ibang tao ang gumamit ng passport ni Garci para lamang malinlang ang mga tao. I wouldn’t put it pass this administration, marami silang mga operators na ganito. Sa kanila, gulohin na lang ang issue para lalong lumabo. Kaya nga nagkaroon ng Bunyi tape, Chavit tape at ngayon ang Garci list para lumabo ang isyong Garci Tape.

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lokalokang matino

December 15th, 2005 at 2:48 am

Nakapagtataka, everyone already knew the TRUTH. pero si Garci patuloy pa ring naglulubid ng kasinungalingan. He complains why nobody wants to believe him, how stupid this man. Maybe he has a different meaning or definition of TRUTH. I’ve watch the proceedings in congress, clearly his lying, he never had straight forward answers to all the questions, halatang may tinatago. But the same, I pray pa rin
na matauhan na siya!!!!!!!!!!!

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tomas tinio

December 17th, 2005 at 2:41 am

Baka hindi ko lang naintindihan yung isang news report. Sabi doon ay dalawang passports ang inilabas ni Garci na parehong wala kahit anong tatak. Ibig bang sabihin noon ay kahit minsan ay hindi siya lumabas ng Pilipinas (hindi lamang nitong 2005 kundi mula noong kumuha siya noong unang passport na nabanggit)? Ang alam ko lang ay experience ng mga ordinaryong Pilipino na kaya lang kumukuha ng passport ay kung may balak nang lumabas ng Pilipinas. Bakit kumuha si Garci ng passport na hindi niya ginamit kahit minsan, tapos nang mapaso ay kumuha pa ng kapalit? Hindi kapani-paniwala na hindi siya lumabas ng bansa. Suspetsa ko manufactured yung dalawang passports na inilabas niya. Sa laki ng suweldo niya sa Comelec, plus other income sa ibang business niya, hindi kapanipaniwalang kahit minsan sa loob ng ilang taon ay hindi lumabas ng Pilipinas si Garci, kahit man lang sa Hongkong or Singapore. May mga kamag-anak akong wala siguro sa kalingkingan ang kita kung ikukumpara sa income ni Garci ay nakapasyal na sa Hongkong at Singapore. Suspetsa ko lang talagang hindi na makakaahon sa pagiging sinungaling itong si Garci. Ano kayang klaseng konsyensya meron siya?

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INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » BSP finds irregularities in Garcillano’s passport

March 23rd, 2006 at 5:24 pm

[…] When he finally answered the congressional summons in December, Garcillano maintained that he never left the country in the months since June that he disappeared from public view. He testified in the inquiry that he had merely sought refuge with his friends in Mindanao. […]

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INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Minority report on wiretap probe recommends Garcillano, Bunye charged

March 30th, 2006 at 8:02 pm

[…] The minority report likewise recommended Garcillano be charged for violating the Philippine Passport Act of 1996 (Republic Act No. 8239) and committing perjury when he testified in December last year that he never left the country when the wiretapping controversy broke out. It noted the Joint Committee’s failure to highlight evidence that cast doubts on Garcillano’s testimony, foremost of which is the note verbale from the Singaporean Government whose integrity was duly supported by both the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the belated report of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that Garcillano’s “clean” passport does not conform to standard. […]

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INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » More cases filed against Garcillano

April 4th, 2006 at 8:24 pm

[…] During the hearings, Garcillano has repeatedly denied that he left the country, despite a note verbale from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, affirming that Garcillano did in fact land in Singapore on July 14 on board a Lear jet and took a flight bound for London the next day. […]

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