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Aquino vows gov’t to file charges vs perpetrators of alleged poll fraud

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Bohol - President Benigno S. Aquino III assured that the government will file charges against personalities implicated in the alleged 2004 poll fraud, saying that the ongoing probe on the issue is being taken meticulously, including gathering information from “would-be” witnesses.

In an ambush interview following the Multi Stakeholders Forum at the Dagohoy Grand Hall of the Bohol Tropics Resort recently, President Aquino said that the government is exerting all out efforts to ferret out the truth based on factual evidences on the issue.

“Kung natatagalan po yung iba nating mga kababayan, hindi naman po kasi tayo sumasakay ng basta-basta eh, kailangan may pruwebang matibay,” the President said.

The Chief Executive stressed that the government’s investigation on the matter will not be dependent on the statements of some reluctant individuals claiming to have full grasp of information on the issue. He added that all of the information gathered from various witnesses on the case would be subject to evaluation.

He also said that at present, they are pursuing four tracks of investigation that may lead into deeper understanding of the issue.

Over the past week, reports claimed that former Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Virgilio Garcillano expressed willingness to testify against former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on the alleged election fraud through feelers sent to Presidential Political Adviser Ronald Llamas but recently, the former Comelec official reportedly chose to clam up on the issue.

“Hindi po nakasalalay sa kanila yung pag-iimbestiga natin sa lahat ng mga nangyayaring yun (2004 poll fraud)…,” the President said.

“Yung four tracks more or less na tinitingnan natin, isa ho dun ang focus namin ngayon and I will be severely disappointed if we will not be able to file charges by the end of this year… at least on the first track na hindi kasama si Garcillano, if I may add,” he said.

The former president was accused of massive cheating in the 2004 elections and her wiretapped conversations with Garcillano started her political woes.

Two government agencies, the Department of Justice and the Comelec, teamed up to jointly probe allegations of massive election fraud in 2004 and 2007. (PNA/PIA9-BST)




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