Press Release
November 30, 2011

Cayetano questions 'Garci boy'

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano chastised Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Region 10 election director Ray Sumalipao for his neglect, ignorance or even possible connivance in the alleged electoral cheating that occurred in Lanao del Sur while serving as its provincial election supervisor (PES) in 2004.

He said this was evident in the responses of Atty. Sumalipao to his questions on the latter's actions in the 2004 national elections during the second hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the 2004 and 2007 electoral fraud controversy.

The senator cited a Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) report stating that in the province of Lanao del Sur, the number of registered voters in2004 was listed as only 273,011 yet the total number of votes cast for party-list groups was 279,927 - translating to a 100.3 percent turnout for party-list polls.

"How can a PES ignore the possibility of cheating when it is clearly evidenced by the fact that the party-list votes in the certificate of canvass (COC) and the NAMFREL results did not tally?" he asked.

Cayetano was appalled by Atty. Sumalipao's claim that he received no complaints about the discrepancies as he claimed his innocence in the alleged cheating that occurred.

The senator recalled past claims of various party-list groups that the alleged massive cheating included ensuring the win of party-list groups aligned with former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

"There have been many claims of cheating, even in the area of party-list group voting. Hearing those, how can you claim that you knew nothing? Seeing the discrepancies in the tally, the logical thing to do is to check even if no formal complaints were filed," he said.

The minority leader also again lamented the continued presence of the so-called Garci boys in COMELEC- Atty. Sumalipao included, stating that their presence continues to mar the reputation of the supposed independent agency.

"Why are these people who are allegedly involved in the 2004 electoral fraud still holding key positions in the COMELEC and are even promoted?" he asked.

Cayetano said Sumalipao's responses alone point to his participation in a conspiracy.

"It is the duty of the Comelec, regardless if a complaint is filed or not, to investigate and ensure that cheating did not occur during an election," he added.

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