Witnesses to 2004, 2007 poll cheating will surface next week—Comelec chief
MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. confirmed on Thursday that more witnesses on alleged cheating in the 2004 presidential and 2007 senatorial polls would surface next week.
“For the last several days, we have been interviewing witnesses. Definitely, the long and short of it is, by next week we have something,” Brillantes told reporters in a press conference.
He said the Comelec would be coming out with the witnesses after the Department of Justice did the same in the past months. The two agencies are jointly investigating the 2004 and 2007 election anomalies.
“The DOJ-Comelec committee had been working silently for the past several weeks. On the part of the Comelec, we have been very, very quiet. We will be the one coming out with our own set of witnesses next week,” he said.
Brillantes added that among the witnesses would be provincial election supervisors who have offered to testify on cheating and other irregularities, adding, “They are available. They are mostly still incumbents. Some were retired but we’re going to bring them in for the formal investigation.”
The chair, however, refused to reveal name the new witnesses and even declined to say if there were “high profile” ones.
However, a high-ranking Comelec official said one of the witnesses was the “biggest” to surface so far.
“He will transform the DOJ-Comelec committee’s task from fact-finding to formal preliminary investigation. The picture would be complete once tells what he knows,” said the source, who refused to be identified because he did not have clearance to divulge information on the matter.
The chair said the Comelec, along with the DOJ, was determined to have people who participated in the irregularities convicted of electoral sabotage, which would be punishable by life imprisonment.
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