Melo backs call for reopening of 'Hello Garci' scandal

July 12, 2010 10:36 pm 

By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, July 12 – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo expressed support on the call of former Scout Ranger chief Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim to re-open the controversial “Hello Garci” scandal in 2004.

“I am all for its re-opening para magkaroon na ng closure itong matter na ito (so that there would be closure of this issue)… otherwise, pabalik-balik na lang itong usapin na ito,( this case keeps on recurring),” he said.

He also said that revival of the issue would put an end of the six-year old case.

With this, he urged the Truth Commission to also look on the matter as much as it wants to resurrect the fertilizer fund scam and the national broadband network controversy.

Melo said that this is the right time to investigate the matter as former president and now Congresswoman Gloria Arroyo is no longer in power.

“As we know, the issue was not investigated since the former president was allegedly involved so we cannot do it. How can we possibly call the president if we decided to conduct an investigation? We are not an impeachment court,” he said.

On Sunday, Lim, a leader of the two attempts to overthrow the Arroyo government, called for a new probe into the alleged involvement of military in the rigging of the 2004 election results.

He said that putting a closure to the controversy would enable the Armed Forces of the Philippines to move forward from the allegations of cheating.

The “Hello Garci” scandal was about wiretapped conversations allegedly between Arroyo and then Comelec commissioner Virgilio Garcillano discussing plots on how to rig election results.

Melo assured that they are ready to do its part, if they will be asked to shed light in the long-standing controversy.

“I think the people in the Comelec are willing to cooperate if they are needed,” the poll body chief said. (PNA) RMA/FGP/utb/utb

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