Transcript of ABS-CBN's Exclusive Interview with former Comelec commissioner Virgilio Garcillano:
Henry Omaga Diaz (H): Sino ang sinasabing out to destroy you?
Virgilio Garciliano (G): I do not know the people out to liquidate me, but I feel that somehow it may be by some people who’d like to destroy me.
H: Sino ang pinaghihinalaan ninyo?
G: I had mentioned two people. (referring to his written statement)
H: On bounty?
G: It’s on the newspaper that they are withdrawing the P1 million bounty so that I will resurface because actually the bounty even made my life so much more in danger because of people who may be interested in getting that money.
H: Was it a plot?
G: I think so. Tingin ko because sa pag-offer nila ng one million, maraming interesado na makita ako at maisumbong sa kaninumang mga interesadong tao na kumuha sa akin.
H: Kamusta kayo ngayon? Papaano po ang experience niyo habang nagtatago sa media?
G: We had been communicating with each other before when we were in Luzon and again one week or two you had been communicating with some of my allies. It was very difficult for us to keep away from the eyes of those whom I feel are after me.
H: Who are supporting you?
G: There are many people helping me especially when you are in the south. People who have been out of the fence before but are still helpful. They have been very kind in extending support to us.
H: Why did they help you?
G: I don’t know why they are that enthusiastic. Siguro naman nakikita nila. That’s why I’d like to tell the committees when I’ll be there kung they have doubts about my actuations for the last 35 years which I spent almost 35 years here in Mindanao while I was with COMELEC. Sila ang makapagtestigo kung ano ang aking performance, kung ano ang relasyon ko sa mga tao, whether I made irregularities before or even accepted money from among the candidates in Mindanao. I always tell them that we do not ask for any return of whatever help that I have extended to any of the politicians, whether they are Lakas or the opposition. But I said maybe somehow in the future, we would also need you help and probably this is the time.
H: On Congress' warrant of arrest, ano po ang comment niyo?
G: I wanted to question the warrant of arrest because first there was no proper service made to us. Even when I did not withdraw myself from the public eye, we never had the chance of getting or receiving the subpoena that they claim to have served to us because they went to our house in Cagayan de Oro and gave the subpoena to a house helper who is not even our employee anymore because somebody is occupying the house. They went to the farm. They found an opening in one of the windows and they just threw the subpoena there. According to information, which I did not know, they also went to the condo where I used to reside in Manila and served the summon at the counter, which was never sent to our unit.
H: This is the basis for the arrest
G: As if I committed the crime. They should hold me in contempt if there was proper service.
H: Are you willing to face Congress?
G: Yes. In fact just to erase that thinking, we're talking of the rigging of the elections because I can tell you and I swear that there was no rigging of the last elections.
H: Kailan po kayo haarap?
G: Titingnan ko kasi I filed a petition in the Supreme Court questioning the issuance of the warrant of arrest, considering that even the investigation conducted was only based on a privilege speech of one congressman.
H: May mga balita na lumabas kayo sa bansa, sa Canada, America?
G: I will reserve that until after I face the committees.
H: Tungkol po sa so-called Garci tapes.
G: Di ko masasabi that the voice there is mine and the other side is the president because ‘til now, nobody has ever come forward if there was really an authentic tape. Since this is an investigation into wiretapping, the wiretapper should be the one investigated. They should exert effort to find out who was the wiretapper. Why will I be made to suffer when I was the victim of the wiretapping?
H: Gaano kayo nag-suffer?
G: I have suffered so much already. This is the fifth month.
H: Was there a point na muntik na kayong atakihin sa puso?
G: Kung maaari lang lalabas na ko sa gobyerno e. In fact, I almost went to that point kasi I still have friends here. Gusto ko nga if not here, pupunta ako sa other places. We also have friends there, in your place.
H: You mean the mountains?
G: (Nods) Because these people are trying to impute upon me, which, there was nothing that you heard that conversation assuming that the conversation was between us which I do not admit until now. Did you hear anything about it that can make them conclude that there was rigging of the electoral process?
H: Sinasabi ng opposition one million votes daw ang binabanggit ni GMA?
G: The President was asking why her advantage over FPJ had been reduced to 892, 000. That was May 24. We are talking of the votes already counted. So how can you rig the elections? Besides, the result of the elections in almost all the provinces throughout the Philippines had already been submitted to congress, beyond the reach of anybody. It was only at the time when there was special elections, there were places with special elections where the advantage of GMA to FPJ had been reduced to 892, 000 and that was what she was asking.
H: In short, the president was expressing a concern?
G: Concern. And she was not the only one who called me up. There were so many people who called me up.
H: 'Yun din balita, also from the opposition?
G: Yes. But I will reserve that because I’ll make a list of all those who who called me up even not referring to the tape because I did not hear that in the tape that’s why I said I do not believe that was the original because I do not accept that was my voice. They might have spliced itdue to so many tapes into one. We nw have a tape that takes nine hours to play.
H: Sa mga opposition na tumawag, ano ang usually gusto nilang sabihin?
G: Sabihin ko na lang dun.
H: Kamusta si misis?
G: Nagsa-suffer siya. Hirap na kami dito. Hindi ko alam what they are after. Did they want to find out if the elections were rigged? They should have brought this out during the canvassing since that time that the supposed conversation had been taken or tapped, the canvass of votes had not started yet. Why did they not use that during the canvassing sa Senate?
Tape 2 (Continuation)
H: May pagkakataon ba na you were forced by certain people to talk against the administration?
G: Wala naman, mahirap 'yan e. Sa ngayon 'di muna.
H: How about the administration talking to you?
G: There were so many statements or news item na kami nagkita ni Presidente. First, when she was in Cagayan de Oro last June. Then the other she was in Sultan Kudarat. Senator Tatad was saying I was in Zamboanga for more than a year now. Di ko alam kung saan galing 'yang information. I don't understand why Tatad is like that, talking like that. I don't blame him because he does not know the law in evidence. Mahirap magsalita nang ganun na 'di niya ma-prove.
H: Tungkol sa what Lacson and Pimentel said in statement.
G: Pimentel has an axe to grind against me. He was claiming I was one of those who rig the elections when he was running for the Senate and he lost. But there was also news in CDO that bawas-dagdag started in CDO and who was the author? You ask them.
H: Merong balita na nagsulat kayo ng libro?
G: Meron akong ginawa pero 'di pa kumpleto. Mga nangyayari dito sa Pilipinas because I find it very frustrating seeing the maneuvering in Congress. Parang wala atang concern ang ating mga leaders sa kapakanan ng ating bansa. Parang hindi sila interesado na umasenso ang bansa.
H: May pinatatamaan bang pulitiko?
H: Ano'ng plano n'yo? Willing ba kayong bumalik sa government service?
G: I already wrote the President as early as June. In order not to divide the country, I would ought not to be re-appointed or accept any other position in government. Until now, I still maintain that. I don't know in the future but for now, I have no intention of getting any position.
G: 'Di ko masasabi pa. Pwede naman, but I'd like to settle in my farm to live a purely private life.
H: Maraming congressmen who want to help you. Pichay nga wants to put you daw under his custody.
G: 'Di muna. Maraming nag-o-offer. In fact, the other night maraming congressmen who called me up from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, but I did not even tell them where I am.
H: (Asking the lawyer of Garci) Legally, ano ang plano especially sa warrant of arrest?
L (L): Ang purpose ng petition sa Supreme Court is para sa principle of separation of powers. 'Di pwede makialam ang Congress sa independent body. Checks and balances. Nung mag-issue ng warrant hindi na-observe ang proper procedure. May power ang Supreme Court na sabihing may abuse doon. Bisa ng warrant, natapos na dahil hindi na in session ang Congress.
H: Magdedemanda ba kayo laban sa mga nang-abuso?
L: Hindi na. Magse-set na lang ng example by resolving it through legal activities.
G: I hope the public will be open-minded to listen to the appeals I have made because we have suffered so much and for the politicians to think deeper and find out what is happening to the country right now. Our country is suffering. I have seen the difficultuies of our people and I think this should be the start of rebuilding the nation and not go on political maneuvers without considering the welfare of our country and the people. That is the only wish that I can make to the politicians especially to the members of Congress and Senate.