Light at the end of the tunnel

FINALLY we may have the long awaited closure on the “Hello Garci contro-versy” and other election related issues that hounded Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her very unpopular and scandal-wracked regime.

With Virgilio Garcillano sending feelers to the government promising to “tell all” about the “Hello Garci” recordings and Lintang Bedol, former Maguindanao election supervisor, submitting an affidavit detailing the 2004 presidential and 2007 national elections rigging in Maguindanao, “the light at the end of the tunnel” is now within sight or so it seems.

Garcillano and Bedol’s “revelations” have long been known by the people for what they did are open secrets and has been the subject of many conversations and heated debates, some even ending in numerous stabbing spree, in the barber shops and public markets.

However, their public admissions albeit late would put a proper end to speculations as to what really happened.

Their admissions are late and may now be totally irrelevant to have practical effects for Arroyo’s term has ended more than a year ago but at least it would put an end to speculations concerning the legitimacy of her stay in power from 2004 to 2010.

Depending on the evidence gathered, it could also pave the way for the discontinuation and return of whatever benefits Arroyo is receiving or has received from the government supposedly due to her being the country’s chief politico from 2004 to 2010.

Garcillano definitely could shed light on widespread allegations that Arroyo stole victory in the 2004 elections from the late actor-turned-politician Fernando Poe Jr.

The alleged vote rigging was exposed when Garcillano’s telephone conversation with a woman who sounded much like Arroyo, which was recorded in an alleged phone-tapping operation by the intelligence community, was made public by Arroyo’s ally, Ignacio “Toting” Bunye.

Bunye apparently hastily made the public exposé in a bid to preempt the political opposition’s expose’ of the same recorded conversation.

However, instead of discrediting the recorded phone conversation, his disclosure led to more questions being asked by the public that later prompted Arroyo to make a televised apology.

On the other hand, Bedol, who recently surfaced, claimed he was told by former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. to rig the 2007 election results on orders of Arroyo.

Admittedly Bedol is a tainted source because of his close relationship with the influential members of the powerful Ampatuan clan whose influential members are now accused of masterminding the Ampatuan massacre in 2009 where more than 50 people including members of the rival Mangudadatu clan and at least 30 journalists were killed.

The Ampatuan’s repor-tedly are trying to reach a political agreement with President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III by giving up Bedol who disappeared several years ago while the Commission on Elections is conducting an investigation on the alleged 2007 electoral fraud in Maguindanao.

I am sure those involved in the vote rigging of 2004 and 2007 no longer sleep well nowadays.

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