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Home  >>   Daily News  >>   Philippines News  >>   Politics  >>   Gloria won’t go to jail
NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs              22  July 2011

Gloria won’t go to jail

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The joint Congress Fact-Finding Commission has no intention of sending former President Gloria Arroyo to jail even if she is found guilty of rigging the 2004 national elections, Sen. Francis Escudero said on Thursday.

“Once it has been established that Fernando Poe Jr. was the rightful winner, we will correct the historical records and write in the official records that FPJ was the de jure president while GMA (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) was the de facto president,” Escudero told reporters during the Kapihan sa Senado forum.

He said that the alleged election fraud committed by Mrs. Arroyo was not covered by the new law on election sabotage, hence, it was not punishable by life imprisonment or reclusion perpetua.

Escudero, FPJ’s spokesman then, clarified that the probe body does not intend to reverse the outcome of the 2004 elections since Mrs. Arroyo was officially declared winner by Congress but only to “correct history by placing a portrait of FPJ in Malacañang as former president and officially recognize the millions of Filipinos who voted for the actor-turned-politician.

He presented also on Thursday a 50-minute video produced by supporters of FPJ that showed a cellular phone conversation—now known as the “Hello Garci” tape— between a female voice giving instructions to a male voice on the other end of the line.

The video was prepared by FPJ’s adviser Marichu “Ichu” Maceda and will be presented to members of the probe body composed of a retired Supreme Court justice and representatives from the Justice department, Office of the Solicitor General and the House and the Senate.

Escudero, the chairman of the Senate justice and human rights committee, announced that he plans to invite voice analyst experts from the United States to uncover the personalities behind the voices heard in the tape.

He said that the fact-finding body would welcome any suggestion from Malacañang on what other irregularities it wants the Congress group to investigate, including those topics lined up for hearing by the now eclipsed Truth Commission.

Malacañang also on Thursday said that one of its advisers has received feelers from former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, supposedly the man—Garci—whom Mrs. Arroyo was talking with in the tape.

Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that Palace adviser on political affairs Ronaldo Llamas has confirmed the feelers.

 


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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