Senate to resume inquiry into alleged 2004 electoral sabotage

November 28, 2011 11:02 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 28 – Despite opposition from some other senators, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, together with the Committee on the Electoral Reforms, is set to resume on Tuesday its investigation on the alleged massive election fraud and electoral sabotage in 2004.

Senator Teofisto G. Guingona III, Senate Blue Ribbon panel chairman, said the second hearing on the electoral sabotage committed in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) allegedly by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in conspiracy with other government officials will start at 9:00 a.m. at the Senate session hall.

Former Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol leads the list of resource persons that also include ARMM Comelec regional director Ray Sumalipao and Zamboanga Peninsula election director Helen Flores.

National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) secretary-general Eric Jude Alvia and Lanao del Sur Namfrel provincial chairman Lacsaman Daligdig have also been invited to give their side on the allegations of poll fraud in the 2004 national and local elections.

Police Senior Superintendent Rafael Santiago, who admitted that he and his men from the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF) stole election returns (ERs) kept inside the Batasang Pambansa to ensure victory for Mrs. Arroyo in 2004, will also attend the Senate hearing along with police officers involved in the alleged election cheating.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) retired Brig. Gen. Francisco Gudani, who already testified about the alleged anomalies in the 2004 elections in the previous investigations, has also been invited in the new Senate probe.

Earlier, Senator Gregorio Honasan said that the Senate should postpone its own investigation about the alleged election cheating after an electoral sabotage case has already been filed against former President Arroyo in connection with the 2007 senatorial elections in the ARMM.

”Now that an electoral sabotage case has already been filed against the former president in court, personally, I think we should postpone our investigation in the Senate,” Honasan said.

Guingona, however, explained that the Senate investigation will focus on the 2004 presidential election won by Arroyo against the late movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. (PNA) scs/jfm

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