A MALACAÑANG official on Tuesday challenged presidential aspirants wanting to reopen the Hello Garci controversy to raise the issue on court and not through another investigation.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Charito Planas said the five presidential bets who would want to put closure to the Hello Garci wiretapping scandal of alleged election rigging involving President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano should not call for another “useless” investigation.
“Huwag na nilang imbestigahan, ideretso na nila sa korte, mag-demanda na sila kung may ebidensiya sila. Kung meron silang basehan, diretso pagsasampa ng kaso na iyan dapat (They should not investigate it anymore, advance it to the court, let them file charges if they have evidence. If they have basis, they should file it directly to court),” said Planas.
Presidential candidates Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, Jamby Madrigal, JC de los Reyes, Nicanor Perlas, and Bro. Eddie Villanueva, during the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap) forum, all wanted to unearth the case of “Hello Garci” if they were elected as president.
Administration candidate Gilberto Teodoro answered “no” to the question explaining that he wanted an “independent, unbiased, and unprejudiced body” to conduct the investigation.
Senator Dick Gordon, meanwhile, also voted “no,” saying he would rather focus on other important issues to be attended to in his administration.
Planas said whoever will be elected is determined to uncover the “Hello Garci” scandal he or she should not resort to prolong investigation which end solving nothing.
“What is not good in investigation, it is merely trial by publicity. They are spending a lot for the investigation yet nothing happens. So let justice take its course, bring it to the court,” she said.
Along with the challenge of Planas is assurance that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will not be alarmed by the charges, saying the latter is innocent.
“She is innocent so she has nothing to fear. As I have said let them file charges if they have evidence,” she said.
The Palace aide added that other personalities who have called Garci should be implicated in the charges.
The Hello Garci controversy involved a tape containing alleged wiretapped conversation of Arroyo and Garcillano. The female voice supposedly asking about the one million votes the other person in the tape supposed to deliver her to win the election.
Arroyo has denied cheating to win her administration.
On the part of Arroyo’s election lawyer, Romulo Macalintal said that the scandal of "Hello Garci" had long been closed and should not be retrieved as there many other important issues politicians should be looking into at this time. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)