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Reply #2: Philippines: Marine General Charges massive cheating, Stolen Election [View All]

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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:48 PM
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Why cant we trade our opposition party for the Philippines opposition party, just for a couple of months? They have fought the fraudulent election of President (sic) Arroyo for months. They have not backed down when theyve been diverted or threatened. They now have a General testifying against orders that massive election fraud took place. What a pleasure it is to see a passion for democracy and the basis for that system, free and fair elections. Please clip and forward to your members of congress.

General bares poll cheating for Arroyo

Thursday, September 29, 2005
By Jonathan F. Fernandez and Marie S. Neri

MANILA -- A military general who was mentioned in the controversial "Hello Garci" tapes said Wednesday that "massive cheating" was done in Lanao del Sur during last year's general elections.

Brigadier General Francisco Gudani, former chief of the 1st Marine Brigade based in Mindanao, said among the irregular acts that he witnessed were hoarding of voters, harassment of election officers, ballot-snatching and intrusion of unregistered watchers.

Arroyo Watch: Sun.Star blog on President Arroyo

Gudani appeared during Wednesday's Senate hearing on the wiretapping scandal presided by Senator Rodolfo Biazon.

The general said he also received information that First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo arrived at Lanao del Sur two to three weeks before the May 10, 2004 elections "with P500 million to be given out to the election officers to ensure the victory of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo."

He said then Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Virgilio Garcillano "was the one giving instructions to the election officers in the province on how to manipulate the results of the presidential elections in favor of the President."

He said he could present a witness who would corroborate his allegation against the First Gentleman. He said the witness was with the President's husband on board a private helicopter and that they landed somewhere in Iligan City.


The President has barred the military personnel from appearing before any congressional inquiry without her permission through their immediate superiors.


He said he believes that he was relieved as head of the 1st Marine Brigade because he "did not cooperate" with efforts to cheat in the elections.

He said the military hierarchy did not give a reason for his relief, only saying that it was for "his own protection". He said Lieutenant General Emmanuel Teodosio, then chief of the Armed Forces Flag Officers in Command, told him that it would be better for him not to go back anymore to Mindanao.

Gudani said deceased actor and opposition presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr., who was the most popular presidential contender in last year's elections, did not garner zero votes in Lanao.

"FPJ never got zero votes in Poona, Bayabao in Lanao del Sur," said Gudani. He added that 25 ballot boxes still in Lanao will prove that Poe got votes.

Gudani claimed that he was able "to witness and observed all kinds of cheating in Lanao from start to finish." "In Lanao, all kinds of cheating were done. They were recruiting and herding voters from other towns as flying voters," Gudani said.

He also told senators that Garcillano was a known "batikang mandaraya (veteran fraudster)" in Lanao del Sur.


"It is incomprehensible and illogical that I would be asked to leave my unit when my presence as a commander was very material and at a critical time when I was badly needed by his unit during the counting of the votes," Gudani said.

His military superiors' intent became clear when he was able to talk to his classmate at the PMA who is now occupying a top-level position in the Armed Forces.

"He informed me by saying that a lot of money was given to concerned individuals for them to deliver the necessary votes in favor of President Arroyo. Also, my classmate told me that Garcillano asked Comelec official Rey Sumalipao that he could not rig the election with Gudani around," he pointed out.


Despite President Arroyo's directive, the Senate will issue subpoenas to General Esperon and other military officials who failed to show up in the hearing.


But Biazon refused to call President Arroyo's move to prohibit military officials to attend the Senate hearings as obstruction of justice. "It might be an attempt to intervene in the functioning of one branch of the government," Biazon added. (With a report from JPM/Sunnex)
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