Garcia to NBI: Probe bribery raps, 'it's a demolition job vs Comelec'

Garcia to NBI: Probe bribery raps, ‘it’s a demolition job vs Comelec’

By: - Reporter / @luisacabatoINQ
/ 03:21 PM July 09, 2024

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Tuesday that it is mulling whether to remove the barangay certification as a requirement for voter registration. comelec bribery

Commission on Elections Chairman George Erwin Garcia talks with the media at Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum in Malate, Manila on Wednesday, January 24, 2024. ( LEAGOGO)

MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman George Erwin Garcia has requested assistance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into allegations that he accepted bribes from a Korean firm.

Garcia made the appeal in a letter addressed to NBI Director Jaime Santiago dated Monday, July 8.


READ: Comelec: Lowest computed bid for overseas voting system emerges


“I am writing to formally request the assistance of your agency in investigating the recent allegations circulating online that implicate me in accepting bribe money from a Korean firm,” the letter, sent by Garcia to, read.

“These unverified claims assert that I hold numerous bank accounts across various banks in Singapore, North America, China, and the Caribbean,” it added.

The poll body chief stressed in his letter that such claims were “entirely false and baseless.”

He specifically asked for NBI’s help in finding out the source of the accusations, the details and validity of the bank accounts, and any legal action that may be taken to solve the matter.

Moreover, Garcia said he is willing to cooperate through any necessary steps that will be required for the investigation.

“If it would aid in your inquiry, I am prepared to issue whatever waivers to override any anti-money laundering regulations and bank deposit secrecy law pertaining to the alleged accounts in question,” he said in the letter.


In a press briefing on Tuesday, Sagip Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta said at least P1 billion worth of funds were transferred from South Korean-based banks to 49 offshore accounts that are supposedly linked to an unnamed Comelec official.

“Some reports coming to the office of this representation […] There are four countries involved in the payment hubs: Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Caribbean and North America […] There are 18 banks and 49 number of accounts. Why do you need 49 offshore bank accounts if the money involved here is not so huge? Well, first of all, why do you need 49 banks, offshore accounts?” Marcoleta asked.

“The most intriguing part here, ladies and gentlemen, is that these accounts are traceable to one Comelec official. This is a work in progress. You must be patient with me and you have to bear with me because we’re still verifying most of these accounts. But I will tell you that […] the total offshore bank account worth $15.2 million or almost P1 billion,” he said.

READ: Comelec, Miru ink P17.99 B pact for automated 2025 polls

In an ambush interview on the same day, Garcia said he was the one being referred to by Marcoleta.

“Huwag na po nating paikut-ikutin. Ako po ‘yung nire-refer doon. Dalawang linggo na po kaming may impormasyon. Actually po, nakaplano ‘yung demolition job laban sa Comelec. May mga nag-presscon,” he told reporters.

(Let’s not beat around the bush. I am the one being referred to. We’ve had the information for two weeks. Actually, the demolition job against Comelec was planned. Some people held a press conference.)

The poll body chief proceeded to deny owning any foreign accounts or any property abroad.

“Diyos ang aking saksi, wala po ako kahit anong foreign account o kahit anong bahay o property o lupa sa kahit anong foreign land,” he said.

(As God is my witness, I do not have any foreign account or any house, property, or land in any foreign country.)

“Hindi po ako masisira sa isyu ng pera dahil hindi naman po ako pumasok sa Comelec dahil sa pera. Pwede ko naman kitain yung pera niya nung nagpapractice ako. Maganda naman po yung aking practice bago ako pumasok sa Comelec. At alam na alam po yan ni Congressman Marcoleta,” he added.

(I will not be destroyed by the issue of money because I did not enter Comelec for the money. I could have earned that money when I was practicing. My practice was good before I joined Comelec. And Congressman Marcoleta knows that very well.)

As Marcoleta admitted in the briefing that verifications are still ongoing on said bank transactions, Garcia said the lawmaker should have verified his information first before publicizing it.

“Napakataas ng respeto natin kay Congressman Marcoleta. Pero sana, katulad ng naitanong sa kanya kung verified, sabi niya hindi naman daw po verified, sana naman po bago man lang makapagbitaw ng mga pananalita, sana ma-verify lang. Sana ma-countercheck lang,” he said.

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(We have the utmost respect for Congressman Marcoleta. But I hope that, like what was asked of him if it was verified, he said it wasn’t verified. Hopefully, before making statements, they should be verified first. They should be counterchecked.)

TAGS: bribery, Comelec

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