Garci surfaces, says he’s a ‘consultant’
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Hello? Is that you, “Garci?”
Lawyer Virgilio Garcillano, the controversial former election commissioner tagged in the “Hello Garci” wiretapping scandal during the Arroyo administration, was seen at a hotel here where presidential candidates Sen. Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay were billeted.
Wearing a brown checkered shirt, a smiling Garcillano greeted and shook hands with several people in the lobby of the Seda Centrio moments before Binay and Poe left to attend the televised presidential debate at the nearby Capitol University.
“I’m OK. But my life has become difficult,” Garcillano told the Inquirer.
When asked what he was doing in the hotel, he just smiled and said he was working as a “consultant.”
He declined to identify who he was working for.
“I’m friends with the Inquirer. The Inquirer sided with me when I was fighting the lies made against me,” he said.
The former Commission on Elections official said some of the criminal cases filed against him over the supposed rigging of the 2004 elections to ensure the victory of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, had been dismissed.
In his supposed tapped telephone conversation with Arroyo, Garcillano assured her that she would win over her closest rival, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., Grace Poe’s adoptive father.
Sought for comment, Poe’s camp said the senator was not aware of Garcillano’s presence at the hotel.
“We were unaware of this fact. This is the first time we are hearing this,” Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, Poe’s spokesperson, said in a text message.
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