Senator Alan Cayetano wants to continue probe on 2004, 2007 electionsBy Kate Evangelista
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday said he will call for the continuation of the Senate inquiry on the alleged electoral fraud in the 2004 and 2007 elections to really determine what happened during the controversial elections.
“We need to continue the investigation. Sometimes it might not be as controversial or not as star studded dahil wala tayong (we don’t have) star witnesses or surprise witnesses,” he told members of the media in a weekly media forum.
Cayetano expressed his disappointment over the Commission on Election’s investigation on the poll fraud in 2004 and 2007 following the granting of bail to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo due to the weak evidence against her for the electoral sabotage case she is facing.
“The Comelec’s own investigation is not bringing us the results that we want. Remember ang result natin dito is not to point fingers, not to say kung may nangdaya o hindi. Kung may nangdaya e di let’s be honest with ourselves and say na walang nangdaya pero kung meron, sino at paano?” Cayetano said.
He added that in defense of the Senate, their inquiries, though not for prosecution purposes, produce results.
“It does produce facts that can be used for prosecution that helps move the wheels of justice in our country,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano added the government should not be deterred by the granting of bail to Arroyo and instead the Comelec and the Department of Justice should pursue cases against the former president and other people who were allegedly involved in electoral fraud activities in previous elections.
“The administration cannot afford to allow the president get off because kulang yung ebidensya. That will be an injustice dun sa lahat ng inapi, lahat ng hinarass, may mga pinatay pa, because of these two elections,” Cayetano said.
Likewise, running after these people will help deter other candidates from engaging in poll rigging especially now that the 2013 election draws near.
“People think that they can get away with it. So this is the same case. Pag nakita ng mga mandadaya na this government means business that this government will put behind bars yung mga nandaya, you’ll have less people cheating in 2013. Kung hindi business as usual.”
He added that the Senate needs to finish its inquiry to get all the facts straight regarding what truly transpired in the 2004 and 2007 elections for them to be able to formulate sound amendments to the law.
“Because hindi mo mababago ang batas, hindi mo maa-amyendahan, hindi mo mase-strengthen hanggang hindi mo nalalaman kung anong tunay na nangyari and based on that we can make recommendations (Because you cannot change the law, you cannot amend it, you cannot strengthen unless you know what truly happened and based on that we can make recommendations),” he told reporters
The Pasay City Regional Trial Court granted Arroyo temporary liberty following her posting of P1-million bail after the court deemed that the testimony of Norie Unas, the sole witness on the supposed conspiracy between the former president and former Maguindanao Governo Andal Ampatuan Sr. to rig the 2007 elections in the province.
Cayetano said he will discuss the issue with Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel who is the principal complainant in the poll fraud case against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, her husband Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo.
He added he has informally talked to Pimentel regarding the continuation of the Senate investigation which was set-aside due to the impeachment case of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.