Brillantes washes hands of ‘Garci boys’ case
Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes on Thursday said he was leaving the fate of the “Garci boys” to the joint Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Department of Justice committee investigating the alleged cheating in the 2004 and 2007 polls.
Brillantes told reporters that the joint committee would be able to determine whether the six officials with links to the notorious former Election Commissioner Virgilio “Garci” Garcillano were involved in poll fraud.
“If there are cases [against the ‘Garci boys’], we can act on them,” he said.
Brillantes was reacting to Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano’s statement that the “Garci boys” should be removed from the Comelec to protect future elections from fraud.
The senator had questioned why Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Director Ray Sumalipao, Northern Mindanao Director Renato Magbutay, acting Assistant Caraga Director Francisco Pobe, Comelec’s Election and Barangay Affairs Department Director and Assistant Director Teopisto Elnas Jr. and Renault Macarambon, and Surigao del Sur Election Supervisor Cirilo Nala Jr. had remained with the poll body, and had been promoted to boot.
The six have been identified with Garcillano and mentioned in the tapped phone conversations supposedly between the latter and then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo discussing the rigging of the results of the 2004 polls.
Asked what could be the legal action against those who would be charged by the joint committee in connection with poll fraud, Brillantes said: “In that event, we could at the least suspend them.”
Brillantes had earlier disowned responsibility for the promotion of the “Garci boys.”
He said that the six were already at their respective posts when he became Comelec chairman in January, and that they had no pending cases related to the 2004 and 2007 elections.
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