Coincidence? Transmission glitches in Garci boys’ areas

Aries C. Rufo

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The transmission of election results in certain areas in Mindanao is exceedingly slow

THE TWELVE. Rappler's unofficial count denoting the top 12 senatorial candidates.

MANILA, Philippines – The transmission of results in this mid-term elections is proceeding at a snail’s pace, compared to what happened in the 2010 national and local elections. 

Curiously, the areas where the transmission rate has been slow are being manned by poll officials with links to a disgraced former Commission on Elections executive, Virgilio Garcillano. (See our PCOS Transmission Status Map to view areas where machines failed to electronically transmit results.)

As of midnight of Monday, May 13, at least 11 regions had yet to reach a 50% transmission rate. They are:

1)  ARMM, which registered the lowest transmission rate at 18%

2)  Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) at 32%

3)  Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN) at 38%

4)  Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) at 40%

5)  Region 11 (Davao region) at 40%

6)  CAR  (Cordillera Autonomous Region) at 42%

7)  Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) at 44%

8)  Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) 44%

9)  Region 4-A (Calabarzon) at 47%

10)  Region 5 (Bicol) at 49%

11)  Caraga at 49%

With the exception of ARMM, all the laggard regions on this list registered a higher transmission rate in 2010, when the first automated national elections were held.

Regions 2 and Regions 4-A, for example, posted a 78% transmission rate before midnight of May 10, 2010. In the same year, the Cordillera Region registered 76%,  while Region 10 recorded a 68% transmission rate.

ARMM, on the other hand, registered a 42% transmission rate before midnight of the May 10, 2010 elections.

As of 3:36 am, May 14 this year, ARMM’s transmission rate stood at 22%.

Region 9’s  transmission rate barely moved last night at 35% as well as Region 12 at 42%. None of the cited regions were able to breach the 50% transmission rate shortly after midnight.


Some of the regions with the slowest transmission rate are headed by election officials who have ties with Garcillano.

ARMM’s regional election director, Rey Sumalipao, was among those named in the infamous “Hello, Garci” tape where a woman who sounded like former President Arroyo was caught talking to Garcillano at the height of the canvassing for the presidential results in 2004.

Sumalipao headed the provincial board of canvassers in Lanao del Sur in 2004. When a Namfrel (National Citizen’s Movement for Free Elections) volunteer threatened to expose poll cheating there,  Arroyo called up Garcillano to fix the problem. Garcillano told Arroyo in the taped phone conversations that he would ask Sumalipao to deal with the situation.

Another Comelec official considered as one of Garcillano’s boys is Francisco Pobe, the acting regional election director (RED) in Region 9, or Western Mindanao. In 2004, Pobe was the provincial election supervisor in Agusan del Sur. Based on the wiretapped conversations, he contacted Garcillano to give the former poll commissioner the outcome of results in Cotabato City. Pobe then was suspected of doing the bidding for a senatorial candidate.

Region 12 is now headed by Remlane Tambuang, who is also known in Comelec circles as one of Garcillano’s trusted lieutenants. Wilfredo Balisado, the current RED of Region 11, is also a Garcillano associate.

Caraga’s RED and acting RED are Michael Abas and Renault Macarambon, respectively. Abas is a Garcillano associate while Macarambon figured prominently in the “Hello, Garci” scandal.

In the wiretapped conversation, Macarambon was mentioned by Garcillano as the one in charge of ensuring the victory of a senatorial candidate who was then allied with Mrs Arroyo. At that time, Macarambon was the vice chair of the Lanao del Sur provincial board of canvassers.

While Abbas was not mentioned in the wiretapped conversations, he has always been known as a Garcillano loyalist. As PES in Sulu, he was credited for ensuring an Arroyo victory in the province in  2004 despite Sulu being a bailiwick of her presidential rival then, the late Fernando Poe Jr. – 


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