Garcillano never denied ties with ex-police chief Ebdane, says lawyer
CAGAYAN DE ORO City, Philippines—Former Elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano had never denied his closeness to former Philippine National Police chief Hermogenes Ebdane, one of his counsels said on Sunday.
Lawyer Ed Tamondong said Garcillano “had long known Ebdane through his wife” and they were close friends.
Garcillano affirmed this.
“Ebdane’s wife is from a neighboring town in Pangasinan, that is why we know each other,” Garcillano said in Baungon, Bukidnon, on Saturday.
But he said he had not seen or contacted Ebdane, now Zambales governor, in recent days.
Garcillano also admitted to have stayed in a “safehouse” in Olongapo City, where he kept some of the evidence he had that could support his denial he rigged the results of the 2004 elections.
But he was mum on reports he had talked with Arroyo ally and suspected gambling lord Bong Pineda.
Ronald Llamas, presidential political adviser, had said Garcillano was ready to tell all before meeting with Ebdane and Pineda in Subic a few days ago.
Llamas said Garcillano sent feelers he wanted to come out to tell what he knew of the poll fraud.
But the former elections commissioner, who became a household name through the ‘Hello Garci’ scandal, had said Llamas’ emissaries were the ones who had been contacting him the past days in a bid to convince him to admit that poll fraud had occurred in the 2004 presidential race.
Garcillano said he would not want to talk anymore because he believed he already told and retold the story that the result of the 2004 elections was legitimate.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer went to his residence in Baungon on Sunday, but was told Garcillano had left for Manila.
Tamondong said that in the resurgent controversy, it would be his client’s words against Llamas’.
“It is now Garcillano’s word against Llamas,” he said.
Tamondong said his client believed that Llamas was claiming all these things “for pogi (to look good) points.”
He said Malacañang, through Llamas, might have wanted to present Garcillano during the President’s State of the Nation Address last week but the former elections commissioners had rejected it.
“People in the Palace, especially Llamas, may be doing this to look good, for pogi points,” Tamondong said.
“I believe they are doing these not on direct orders of the President,” he said, “but Garcillano is the missing link (in the effort) to convict Gloria (Macapagal-Arroyo) of electoral fraud,” Tamondong said.
Tamondong also maintained that Garcillano never sent feelers to Malacañang.
“He does not have the resources, he does not even know the mobile numbers of these people. Who has the motive, who will gain more if Garcillano tells a different story?” he said.
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