Mayuga Report has no bearing on House 2004 poll probe, says Belmonte
The Mayuga Report on the purported participation of military officers in poll fraud in 2004 has no bearing on the House of Representatives’ inquiry into the switching of election returns (ERs) in 2005, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said on Thursday.
Belmonte said the seven-man House ad hoc committee was formed to look into the allegation that the ERs in the House’s custody at the time were surreptitiously replaced with fake ones in connivance with the police and certain officials of the chamber.
He pointed out that the Mayuga Report was written way before the purported ER-switching took place.
Belmonte also said the committee—which was formed on Monday and approved in plenary—was not formed to determine who between then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her closest rival, the late movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., actually won in the 2004 presidential election.
Poe had filed an election protest in the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, but he died in December 2004. The purported ER switching was intended to ensure that Arroyo would still emerge the winner in the event of a recount.
“It’s incumbent on us, not so much as Speaker but as the head of [the House], to find out: Did [the ER switching] really happen? What are the consequences of its happening? And if it did happen, who are the ones responsible? Are there people who are still here who might have had a hand in it? And so forth,” Belmonte said at a press conference.