MANILA — Marking the 10th year anniversary of the “Hello Garci” controversy, Senator Grace Poe vowed to push for measures to prevent future cases similar to the alleged cheating during the 2004 Presidential elections.
“We need to prevent high-tech election fraud from once again making a mockery of our electoral system,” Poe said in an emotional Senate privilege speech matched with a film presentation she personally voiced and a music video of his late father, Fernando Poe Jr (FPJ).
She devoted his speech in discussing the outline measures which he suggests will stop a “manufactured mandate.”
Poe also recalled the “dark time in our nation’s history, the 2004 presidential elections,” where his father who was then running for president was allegedly cheated.
The 2004 “Hello Garci ‘ scandal involved former poll commissioner Virgilio “Garci” Garcillano who was recorded taking orders President from then Gloria Macapagal Arroyo about the 2004 presidential elections through a wiretapped conversation.
Poe plans to file bills that will penalize computer-aided and technology-driven election offenses and increase the prescriptive period for election offenses from 5 to 10 years.
“As we have seen, almost none of the ‘Garci Boys’ or those mentioned in the ‘Hello Garci’ tapes have spent a day in jail simply because they enjoyed protection from the powers-that-be. The President is also immune from suit for the duration of his or her 6-year term, thus no charges can be filed against Mrs Arroyo for her complicity in the 2004 election fraud until her term ended in 2010,” Poe said.
Poe also added she already filed a resolution to include election fraud to include election fraud as one of the crimes for which a court can legally authorize a wiretap.
With reports from Rappler