Wary of cheating, Poe laments Garci’s reappearance
Senator Grace Poe admitted on Friday being saddened and worried by reports that former Elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, who was tagged in the alleged massive-fraud in 2004, is working actively as a consultant.
Garcillano was spotted at the Seda hotel in Cagayan de Oro City where Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay were staying for the first presidential debate held at the Capitol University last Sunday, February 21.
“Ang nakakalungkot at nakakabahala lang sakin ay ito – nung nasa Cagayan de Oro kami, napabalita, pero hindi ko nakita, na ang isang binabanggit dun sa Hello Garci na nakapangalan pa sa kanya, ay nandu’n mismo sa hotel namin, na gumagala-gala at consultant pa daw s’ya ngayon,” the senator said at a press conference in Tacloban City.
(I am saddened and worried that when we were in Cagayan de Oro, it was reported—but I did not see—that the man behind the Hello Garcia scandal was roaming in our hotel and reportedly working as a consultant now.)
The “Hello Garci” she was referring to was the alleged audio recording of a phone conversation between Garcillano and former President and now Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo talking about an alleged plot to rig the election results in Mindanao.
“’Yun ang medyo nababahala ako, dahil wala ngang kaso na napatong sa kanya, patuloy pa rin s’ya ‘yatang nagiging aktibo sa pagbibigay ng konsultasyon sa iba. Nagtataka lang ako, anong klaseng konsultasyon ang maaari niyang ibigay. Alam ninyo ba ang ibig kong sabihin?” she said.
(I am worried because he’s still free, and he still continues to actively consult with others. I wonder what kind of consultation he gives. Do you know what I mean?)
READ: Man that got away
Poe’s father, the late action king Fernando Poe Jr., was said to be a victim of the alleged poll rigging during the 2004 presidential race when he ran but lost to Arroyo .
Asked how she could avoid being cheated like her father, the senator said: “Unang-una, hindi tayo pwedeng maging kampante (First and foremost, we cannot be overconfident).”
But unlike in 2004, Poe said the media and nongovernment organizations are again actively monitoring the elections.
“Noon kasi nu’ng 2004, maraming lugar, hindi na masyadong binantayan ‘yun e. Ang dami talagang nakalusot,” she said.
(In 2004, there were many places that were left vulnerable. That’s why different abuses were committed without getting exposed.)
Poe also pointed out that the May 2016 elections would be an automated poll unlike before where the elections as well as the cheating were done manually.
“Nagpapadala kami ng mga representatives para ma-review yung ‘procedures dito sa PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scan),” she said.
(We have been sending representatives to review the PCOS procedures.)
“Pero marami pa din ibang paraan na pwedeng mandaya. Halimbawa, sa isang barangay, alam ng isang local officials na mahina s’ya dun. Tatakutin n’ya ang barangay na ‘yun para wag bumoto. O kaya babayaran ‘yung mga nandun na wag na silang bumoto. Kaya kailangan mapagmasid tayo at pigilan natin ang mga bagay na ‘yan,” the senator added.
(But there are other ways to cheat. For example, if a candidate knows he’s losing in a village, he will threaten or pay those living in that village not to vote anymore. That’s why we need to be observant and stop anything like these from happening.) IDL
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