MANILA, Philippines – Two lawmakers on Wednesday, January 11, filed perjury and falsification charges against former Commission on Elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano for allegedly submitting a fake passport during congressional hearings in 2005 and 2006.
Bayan Muna Representatives Neri Colmenares and Teddy Casiño filed the charges before the Office of the Ombudsman. If found guilty of perjury, Garcillano faces imprisonment of one month to one year.
Congress investigated Garcillano in 2005 after wiretapped conversations between him and then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was leaked to the media. The conversations pertained to the counting of votes in the 2004 presidential race that Mrs Arroyo won over chief rival Fernando Poe Jr.
In 2006, the opposition accused Garcillano of presenting to them a fake passport to prove that he never left the country at the height of the “Hello,Garci” scandal. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas however told Congress then that Garcillano’s passport seemed to lack authentic identification.
The Singaporean government also later said that Garcillano indeed arrived in their country on July 15, 2005 and then left for London.
Then Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor dared Garcillano’s accusers to stop the noise and just hail him to court.
They did – five years later. – Rappler.com