Pajero accusations should be backed by evidence, Senator Cayetano says
MANILA, Philippines—Charges that some bishops had been gifted Mitsubishi Pajeros by then President Macapagal-Arroyo at the height of the “Hello Garci” election fraud scandal should be thoroughly investigated and backed by evidence, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said Tuesday.
“All of these are fact-finding. Let the truth be made known to everyone. Reveal the documents,’’ the Senate minority leader told reporters at a restaurant at a mall in Pasay City. “Let the facts speak for themselves.’’
The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office said it was verifying reports that Arroyo milked its funds to secure the support of some bishops at the height of the electoral fraud scandal.
The “Hello Garci” scandal involved allegedly wiretapped telephone conversations between Arroyo and then Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano about her vote margins in the 2004 presidential election.
PCSO Chairperson Margarita Juico said Arroyo, now a Pampanga lawmaker, had allegedly given six or seven Mitsubishi Pajeros to bishops a few months before she stepped down in June 2010.
Cayetano, chairman of the Senate ethics committee, said President Aquino should form a committee to look into Juico’s charges.
“Create a committee, give them the powers, give them the mandate. Appoint a committee to go through the documents, and reveal these,’’ he said.
“It’s possible some of the documents have been destroyed. That should not be an excuse for the government not to do an honest-to-goodness investigation,’’ Cayetano added.
Cayetano said he saw nothing wrong with bishops receiving cars for their use in their ministry, but said it was a different story if these were given as bribe.
“If it’s a form of a bribe, then we will see that with the facts, and take it from there,’’ he said.
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