The ‘Garci Boys’ are still alive and kicking harder.
They were the reason, Senator Sergio Osmeña 3rd said, why he surprisingly ended up 14th in the senatorial race despite being ranked from 6th to 9th spot in pre-election surveys.
The outgoing Senator said some men of former Commission on Election (Comelec) Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano of the infamous “Hello Garci” electoral scandal sent him a message offering P10 per ballot but he declined.
Garcillano was accused of manipulating the results of the 2004 elections to favor former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Osmeña deemed that some of the 12 winning senators paid for their votes.
“Andyan pa ’yung mga ‘Garci Boys’ [sa Comelec]. Hindi tinanggal [The ‘Garci Boy’s are still in the Comelec. They were not relieved],” Osmeña said. “Nag-offer pa sila sa akin. Sabi ko, ‘Ayoko’ [They gave me an offer, but I refused].”
The Senator of 18 years (1995 to 2007, and 2010 to 2016) said he is aware of every form of cheating including vote buying, vote shaving, hacking of flash cards, pre-shading of ballots, among others.
Osmeña added that Smartmatic’s unauthorized change in the script of the Comelec transparency server also raises a lot of questions on the credibility of the May 9 polls.
While some losing candidates may file electoral protest over cheating claims, Osmeña does not intend to contest his defeat. “I will go fishing. I am so tired. I have to relax. I think I deserve a rest,” he said. Michael Joe T. Delizo