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Accused Marine colonel says Esperon fit for Comelec chief

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 15:21:00 05/13/2008

MANILA, Philippines — For a Marine colonel being tried for alleged mutiny, retired former Armed Forces chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr. would be perfect as chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

“General Esperon should go to Comelec,” Lieutenant Colonel Achilles Segumalian told reporters in jest, on the sidelines of the court martial hearing of the 28 officers linked to an alleged plot to mount a coup in February 2006.

Asked why, Segumalian said: “Kailangan pa bang itanong yan? Dun siya magaling e [Do you have to ask that? That’s his forte].”

Esperon has not returned a text message seeking comment.

The controversial general retired on Monday, after serving as military chief under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for nearly 22 months.

Hinting of a new government post for the former military chief, Arroyo asked Esperon to “hurry back” after his vacation so that he could “serve the people again.”

Esperon was among four generals mentioned in purported wiretapped phone conversations of Arroyo and ex-elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, in which they allegedly discussed plans to rig the 2004 elections in her favor.

A military fact-finding board cleared Esperon and the military establishment of wrongdoing during the elections, but its report was never made public in full.

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Written by joelguinto

TueUTC2008-05-13T08:57:12+00:00UTC05bUTCTue, 13 May 2008 08:57:12 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am05

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