Lawmaker notes ‘tampered’ testimony in Mayuga Report
The Mayuga Report that was submitted by the Department of National Defense (DND) to Congress was incomplete and at least one testimony may have been tampered with, according to Bayan Muna party-list Reresentative Neri Javier Colmenares.
Colmenares said this was the testimony of retired Colonel Rene Pilapil, then Philippine Air Force commander.
In the summary of Pilapil’s interview, it was stated that “he can remember two helicopters requested for landing after the election, by an alleged lawyer of the First Gentleman.”
However, no such statement appeared in his complete interview which was attached to the report as an annex, Colmenares noted.
“Was his written testimony cleaned up?” the lawmaker asked.
“The main issue investigated by the Mayuga panel was the involvement of military officers in partisan political activities. The intentional withholding of these documents is a serious offense and the Mayuga panel or the DND must be asked to account for these missing documents,” Colmenares said.
In July 2005, Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga, then inspector general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headed a military inquiry into the involvement of at least four generals whose names came up in the “Hello Garci” phone conversations.
The scandal involved supposedly wiretapped conversations between then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and then Election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano on the rigging of the 2004 presidential polls.
The tapes mentioned a number of ranking military men, including then Army chief Lieutenant General Hermogenes Esperon. The Mayuga Report later cleared the officers.
The report had been classified as “Secret” but President Aquino declassified it after Colmenares asked the House of Representatives’ committee on appropriations to suspend deliberations on the proposed DND budget for 2012 unless the report was given to Congress.
Colmenares, a lawyer, urged Malacañang to compel the DND to submit the entire report so he could study it completely.
In House Resolution No. 1654, Colmenares and his party-list colleague, Representative Teddy Casiño, sought an investigation into the Mayuga Report, saying the annexes revealed that the Mayuga panel covered up all the leads to the involvement of certain AFP officers in the alleged cheating operations.
It said the annexes comprising more than 2,000 pages of military documents and testimonies of military officials and personnel mentioned not only generals but high officials of the Arroyo administration.
“There is in fact a strong possibility that then Commander in Chief Macapagal-Arroyo ordered her favored generals to help in the rigging of the 2004 polls to ensure her victory,” the resolution said.
“Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle of fraud, lies and deceit, the events that transpired after the controversial 2004 presidential election have come to the fore and lead to the logical conclusion that the legislature must immediately act to uncover the truth,” it added.
Colmenares said other apparently missing documents annexed to the report were titled: Annex C-Organization Structure (AFP TF HOPE 2004); Initial staffing scheme; Organizational structure; Current INTSUM/INTEL Estimate; 4th Quarter Order of Battle Report CY 2003; and Oplan Bantay Laya. Cynthia Balana