Army officer in ‘Hello Garci’ scandal confirmed as general | Inquirer News
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Army officer in ‘Hello Garci’ scandal confirmed as general

The Commission on Appointments on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of 29 general/flag and senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including a newly promoted brigadier general who was grilled for his involvement in the “Hello Garci” wiretapping scandal in 2004.

It was Sen. Panfilo Lacson who sought for newly promoted Brig. Gen. Pedro Sumayo Jr. to disclose what really happened in the wiretapping incident of a purported conversation between former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Commission on Elections (Comelec) official Virgilio Garcillano where the pair talked about rigging of the 2004 elections.

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President Arroyo later won the presidency and she apologized for the scandal that almost brought down her administration.

At the hearing called by the commission’s committee on national defense, Lacson told Sumayo the controversy “remains unresolved and needed closure.”

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Sumayo was implicated in the controversy as he was the group commander of MIG-21, the unit that was responsible for the recording of the phone of Garcillano.

On questioning of Lacson, Sumayo admitted that his unit intercepted phone communications of “enemies of the State,” including the Abu Sayyaf Group, the Jemaayah Islamiyah and the New People’s Army.

He said he was not aware until informed by his officers that the unit had intercepted calls of Garcillano.

“I was not aware of who ordered the wiretapping of the phone of Garcillano,” Sumayo said.

Sumayo said his immediate superior ordered him to destroy the recordings. He said Garcillano’s number was removed from the list of his “targets” at that time.

But he sought to assure the committee that it would never happen again.

The other confirmed officers were Carlito Galvez Jr. (to the rank of lieutenant general); Adelius Bordado (commodore); Danilo Rodelas, Robert Emperad and Allan Ferdinand Cusi (rear admiral); Arnel De la Vega, Emmanuel Salamat and Ronnie Evangelista (major general); Milfredo Melegrito, Cirlito Sobrejana, Jess Estoesta, Perfecto Rimando Jr., Francisco Mendoza Jr., Arnulfo Matanguihan, Melquiades Ordiales, Manolo Samarita, Glorivine Dida, Ramiro Manuel Rey, Nixon Dortes, Raniel Ramiro, Felipe Bejar, Felicisimo Budiongan, Henrico Rennaldo Macalalad, Jose Faustino Jr., Lope Dagoy, Erickson Gloria, Ernesto Lopena, and Pelagio Valenzuela (brigadier general).

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TAGS: Brig. Gen. Pedro Sumayo Jr., Commission on Appointments, Hello Garci Scandal, Philippine news updates
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