For the past several weeks, the Philippine Congress has been conducting hearings to determine whether the "Hello Garci" aka "Gloriagate" recordings are authentic. Yesterday, the Congress issued an arrest warrant for former COMELEC Commissioner Garcilliano after he "ignored it's summons to appear" (quoted fromt the PDI).
Meanwhile, the Senate for the past several months has been conducting hearings on jueteng (in aid of legislation). In the Senate hearings, there are allegations that Mike Arroyo, the husband of the President, Mikey Arroyo, the son of the President and Iggy Arroyo, the brother-in-law of the President are involved in this illegal endeavor. Yesterday, they had as witness/resource person, Michaelangelo Zuce who testified that the President knew that jueteng money was used to bribe Philippine election officials so they would help in her campaign. In addition, he also testified that "all the conversations (in the 'Hello Garci' tapes) really took place because Commissioner Garcilliano told me about them"
Partly because of the revelations from these hearings, an impeachment complaint was submitted to Congress. The complainants, for the past several days have been boasting about the roomfulls of evidence and the witnesses they have against the President. If Zuce is part of their panel of witnesses against the President, then I think we will be in for a long, very long impeachment. As I write this, the President's minions have been out gathering dirt against Zuce to damage his credibility, I do not know if the will succeed or not, or whether Zuce can convince more members of Congress to sign the impeachment complaint, I only know that I do not want this process to drag on.
I have been waiting for someone to propose we count the Elecion Returns, if the "Hello Garci " tapes are real and if election officials actually took bribes, then, this will be reflected in the higher levels of canvassing. The tapes, and maybe Mr. Zuce can pinpoint the provinces that cheating happened, Congress, in aid of legislation, can subpoena the Election Returns of these Privinces, they can then count the ERs per precinct and compare the results to the results of the Provincial canvass, if the ER totals are totally different than the Provincial canvass, then I think we can definitely conclude that cheating has taken place.
We do not need roomfulls of evidence and hundreds of witnesses to impeach President Arroyo, we need a smoking gun, and counting the ER's will give us concrete evidence of cheating. I can't understand why nobody is pursuing this. The opposition kept on insisting that the ERs be counted during the Congressional canvass, why are they not insisting on this procedure now? Surely a delay in the impeachment proceeding is permissible if it can guarantee victory. They do not even need to count all the provinces, one province where cheating can be proved is enough.
Count the Election Returns - let the Filipino people know the truth.