About my comment on Biazon, you might have forgotten to include the last two sentences in that paragraph you quoted: "Now a man comes along and offers evidence and he gets shot down? That's just plain stupid."
See how important it is not to take things out of context? I was saying that the administration's allies were stupid for trying to shut biazon up. If he had evidence, he should have been given the chance to present it. I stand by what I said then: if there had been evidence, it would have made the garci episode an open-and-shut case. Instead, Gloria has been able to dance around her opponents precisely because they couldn't pin her down.
What kind of evidence are you still "looking for" at this point, ComelecAKO? Seriously.
You know, ang problema ng administration na ito is that hindi lang nila ninakaw ang election, they also tried to coverup and stonewall any serious investigation or efforts at accountability -- from the day Arroyo's allies in congress railroaded GMA's proclamation without even a recount on the disputed COCs, to Ignacio Bunye stunt of holding two discs (original and spliced) in an effort to confuse the public and coverup for his boss, to the killing of the second impeachment just recently.
Para sa akin, rigging the elections to help Arroyo win is a serious crime, but the coverup IMO is even worse than the actual crime itself.
John, I really didn't see cheating on a scale that would have materially affected the outcome of 2004.
That's what the appeal for a recount during the canvassing and the two impeachment attempts on arroyo were supposed to do, show the evidence and testimony and the transcripts that GMA and Garci, in cahoots with some military and COMELEC officials, rigged the elections in favor of the Malacanang Occupant.
Too bad Arroyo's allies are too busy "noting" the evidence away, or making excuses and covering up for Arroyo.
I think it isn't wrong to want to see proof before condemning an entire institution. Of course, if some people don't need proof, well that's fine too. After all, what sort of reformer would I be if I were willing to abdicate reason for the sake of unfounded reports? Now if Biazon had been able to show evidence, I would probably be more condemning of the COMELEC.
Yan rin ang sinabi ng mga allies ni Arroyo sa kaso ni Joc Joc Bolante, "where's the evidence!!!" that gov't money was illegally diverted to the 2004 campaign of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Who in their right mind would believe Garci? No one. That's exactly my point. Think of it this way. You live in a house with a saint and a guy everyone believes to be a klepto and another guy. Now supposing you took the third guy's last yosi and he realized it was missing. Now I know you, John, would probably admit to taking it, but pretend for a moment that you wouldn't. Who would you blame so that you could get off scot-free? The saint or the guy everyone believes to be a klepto? You would blame the the guy everyone believes to be a klepto of course. Because no one would believe him even if he denied involvement. Garci, in Rasalan's testimony, is the the guy everyone believes to be a klepto. The man no one would believe. And Rasalan would be you, the hypothetical thieving housemate, the guy who wants to get away with a lie.
Garci's reputation is shot because of what he has been accused of doing.
Soooooooooooo...... you don't think Garci is guilty of rigging the elections for Arroyo then, ComelecAKO? Parang ganun rin ang dating mo dito eh..
And finally, its a pretty sad commentary on the state of things in this country when reasonable people like you, John, feel that our institutions are no longer trustworthy. That is why I am blogging. Because I hope people will see that not everyone inside the COMELEC is hopeless.
I think there are a few trustworthy people in the COMELEC, like Rashma Hali (before the admin got to Hali) and Ferdinand Rafanan, to name a few.
But this culture of coverups is harming the credibility of our government, the COMELEC, the DOJ, the military, and the police.
As for your role as a self proclaimed "reformer" inside the COMELEC, good luck. How are you going to "reform" the COMELEC if you refuse to face reality? Some of your reform ideas are nice, but unfortunately, what you are proposing are half-baked measures that doesn't go far enough to address the serious credibility issues of the politicized COMELEC.
I want REAL and CREDIBLE reforms, not some half-assed version of it where it gives off the appearance of reform. By not sending guys like Garci and other COMELEC people involved in GLORIAGATE to jail, malamang mauulit na naman ang mga massive cheating operations sa susunod na mga election o "referendum", because the dagdag bawas infrastructure is left intact.
If we never learn from the past, if we never do a serious housecleaning on the COMELEC, the military, heck this entire ILLEGITIMATE administration, it's going to bite us again one day.
don't say I didn't warn ya all.
UPDATE: ComelecAKO responds:
What kind of evidence? The kind that stands up in court. not newspaper accounts and rumors of uncertain provenance spread by men of uncertain motives.
I'll admit that the tapes are inadmissible in court because they are illegally taken. But re the other documentary evidence and eyewitness accounts, the opposition have it.
coverup is terrible. I also agree.and yes, too bad about all the 'noteds'. if the evidence had been allowed to come out, things would be very different now, and we might even be on the same side of the fence.
so what if arroyo's allies say 'where's the evidence?' wouldn't you say that too if you were accused of some crime? should arroyo and her ilk go the extra mile and maybe step down to clear the way for an investigation? sure. why not. the point is, the evidence must come out. until then, i reserve judgement.
i don't know what to think of garci, to tell you the truth. like I said, i need evidence and proof. you have that? show me. and if your evidence is good, i'll add my voice to yours.
Whatever. I believe that people who try to obstruct justice and engage in coverups are clearly guilty. I think most people believe that too. Obviously, you don't believe that.
And thanks for finally "clarifying" your position on Garci.
why don't you join government, john? and try actually doing some of the hard and sweaty spadework for the kind of reforms you want. we would appreciate an extra pair of hands.
Thanks, but I think i'm more effective as an outsider -- an independent telling it like it is and not answering to anyone or any special interest groups.
Besides, why would I want to join your Arroyo government, ComelecAKO?
(don't answer, rhetorical question)
I've already said what actions and steps are necessary to clean and reform the COMELEC. Since Arroyo and her apologist/henchmen at the COMELEC are inherently incapable doing this work credibly and completely, or are preventing others from doing the necessary painful housecleaning, I strongly believe na we're gonna pay for this one of these days in future elections or "referendums".
UPDATE: PCIJ's report on COMELEC's Fall from Grace and Garcillano: Master Operator.
UPDATE: More credibility problems for COMELEC:
The cheating never stops.
Even as the 2004 elections show, by way of documented evidence — as well as the infamous “Hello Garci” tape, with Gloria Arroyo and her cheating operators in the Comelec and even in the military along with the cheating politicians in Mindanao and the Visayas, to name just a few, exposed as massive cheats — such exposé did not stop them and their operators from engaging in yet another fraudulent exercise — this time through the Malacañang-initiated people’s initiative, where Sigaw ng Bayan claimed to have gathered some 10 million signatures to amend the Charter.
From its inception, there was already fraud in the sense that the move was for a revision of the Constitution, not a simple amendment. But the Palace and Sigaw went on, even when they were fully aware of the fact that the Supreme Court (SC) issued a ruling that permanently barred the Comelec from entertaining such initiative, until such time that Congress fashions an implementing law.
But Sigaw, not only encouraged but funded by Gloria and company, went ahead with their signature drive, getting even Malacañang to declare a Barangay Day where Sigaw would be pushing the signature drive, complete with documents that were printed in the government printing house — and yet they claimed that the Arroyo government was not involved in this, as this was a private initiative, even as the local government units were proudly at the forefront of this initiative, on Gloria’s orders.
Sigaw immediately claimed success, saying the organization had gathered thousands of signatures, and had these signed papers verified by the Comelec registrars. And all this, without even explaining to the people just what this move was all about. But then again, there was no need to do so, for their language is money, cheating and bribery.
It was discovered soon enough that the signatures were falsified, and, just like the election documents in 2004, only one person was filling up the spaces for the signatures.
Worse, a lot of those who were claimed by the Sigaw-Ulap tandem to have signed up for the initiative were discovered to be long dead, while others were children.
Then too, there were the usual Comelec registrars who certified that they had verified the signatures and said these were genuine, giving Sigaw and its initiative the thumbs-up to complete the so-called 3 percent vote per district.
How then can a people even begin to trust the election body, given the fact that, despite its having been exposed as engaging in cheating for Gloria Arroyo in 2004, Comelec is still at it, and playing the same game directed by Gloria and her cheats.
Read the whole thing.