Press Release
November 29, 2011

Press Briefing after the Blue Ribbon Committee Hearing on Electoral Fraud

Reporter: Nagkakagulo na sa kung dapat i-house arrest si GMA, bakit pa ang Senate dinidinig pa din ito?

Ang message ng mga hearings na ito ay simple: sa mga involved sa pandaraya, lumabas na kayo at magsabi na kayo ng katotohanan at mag- state witness na kayo. Tell the truth. If you need protection, if you need to apply for immunity or you want to turn state witness, let's assess your testimony, let's assess the evidence that you're going to give us.

Ang Comelec, ang DOJ, at ang Office of the Ombudsman, may powers for fact-finding. But once charges are filed, it is converted into a preliminary investigation. Nagiging confrontational, o adversarial. Hindi nila na-aaply fully 'yung fact-finding.

Kung saan man gagamitin ang findings ng Senate, maging for legislation o kung iapapasa man sa prosecution later on, mas malaki ang leeway ng fact-finding ng Senado.

Makikita ninyo, anumang partisipasyon, maliit man o malaki, lumalabas dito sa Senate. The mere fact that our colleagues in media are proactively following and being critical about everyone here and their testimonies, helps people be informed of what really happened in the past elections.

Chairman Brillantes, himself, admitted that even in the last election, there was cheating before, during, and after election day. Aside from the legislative changes that we need, the reason why there is no change in the country is because no one is being charged with cases and no one is being brought to jail.

I think it's our duty in the Senate to continue this. With the composition of the Senate-- we're from different political parties, different backgrounds and experiences in 2007 and 2004 elections--I think we're ensured of fairness.

Pwede mang magamit o hindi, it's always a possibility na may makuha tayong bagong impormasyon. But the mere fact that both sides can speak and everyone can defend themselves would negate the alleged demolition job being claimed by one party against another.

What's important is that everyone is given a fair opportunity. And so far, we are happy the way Sen. Pimentel has been chairing this. Since he is also a victim of electoral fraud last 2007, I think he's the best person to really passionately go after this.

'Go after the Small fish'

'Yon ang problema natin maging sa ZTE, sa Fertilizer scam, maging sa Comelec, nandiyan pa sa mga ahensya na 'yan ang mga gumawa ng mali.

Is the government serious about going after the former president? I think so.

But to really complete the evidence and get all of the witnesses, pati ang mga small fish ay dapat habulin.

'Yung kay Mr. Mamucao na testimony ngayon, huwag natin balewalain. Because aside from corroborating the testimony of Mr. Unas, nabubuo ang picture kung ano talaga ang nangyari noong 2007.

Reporter: 'Yung kay Bedol po, masama daw po ang loob niya?

I think it should be explained to him that one way of really becoming a state witness is to be charged first.

Tapos ia-assess ang pangangailangan para sa testimonya mo. Pagkatapos niyan ipag-uutos ng judge na pinapayagan na na hindi ka i-prosecute. Hindi ito unique. Nangyayari talaga ito sa criminal prosecution.

I'm almost sure na desidido ang gobyerno na gamitin siyang state witness kaya hindi siya dapat mangamba na siya ay i-prosecute kung siya ngayon ay nagiging witness.

Participant naman talaga siya. Parte na lang ng pagsisisi niya 'yung nangyayari ngayon sa kaniya.

Reporter: 'Yung pagkakaroon ng kaso sa ibang witness, hindi ba 'yon magiging reason para hindi na sila mag-appear dito?

There is a difference between their immunity from taking the stand and their obligation to take the stand but refuse to answer some questions.

May mga witnesses na bawal mo ipatawag per se. May mga witnesses na pwede mong ipatawag. Halimbawa, a person cannot testify against himself. But you can ask him to be here and he can exercise his right against self incrimination.

But then, not all questions are self-incriminating. That's a big possibility that people who are already charged will do a General Ligot or General Garcia and refuse to answer questions. Yet, there will still be value in having them here.

On Mamucao's testimony that GMA asked for a 12-0 vote turn out.

Even if GMA said it, sinasabi naman niya sa kampanya 'yon. Ang illegal hindi 'yung fact na you're campaigning for 12-0. But in the case of Mr. Mamucao, ang sinasabi niyang participation talaga niya, ang pagkuha ng SOVs at ERs para mandaya.

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