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Singson: No evidence, no Arroyo ouster

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 18:01:00 11/06/2008

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Zambales — Repeated attempts to oust President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through impeachment and street protests have failed because her critics have failed to present enough evidence against her.

This was the analysis of Deputy National Security Adviser Luis “Chavit” Singson, whose revelations linking former president Joseph Estrada to kickbacks from illegal gambling led to an impeachment trial and massive street protests that forced him from office.

“Nung lumabas kasi ako nung araw, kumpleto sa ebidensiya. Ang diperensiya ngayon, di sila kumpleto sa ebidensiya. Nauuna yung daldal sa ebidensiya [When I came forward, I had complete evidence. The problem now is their evidence is incomplete. They place talk ahead of evidence],” Singson told reporters here, on the side of a Local Peace and Security Assembly (LPSA).

“Wala naman silang credible witness, tapos dinadagdagan nila kung minsan. Di dapat dagdagan…dun nagkakaroon ng kulay [They don’t have a credible witness, and they compound the issues…that’s when it becomes tainted],” he said.

Singson, Estrada’s erstwhile gambling buddy, tagged the former actor as the “lord of all jueteng [an illegal numbers game] lords.” Estrada’s downfall led to then vice president Arroyo’s rise to power.

Singson said the revival of the P728-million fertilizer fund scam was unlikely to spawn another political crisis in the vein of the “Hello Garci” election fraud scandal in 2005, and the bribery allegations that surrounded the botched $329-million national broadband project.

“Walang mangyayari diyan kaya sa media na lang [Nothing will happen. It’s all in the media,” Singson said, adding, “Wala naman malaking threat [There is no big threat].”

The Senate Blue Ribbon committee is set to investigate anew allegations that former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante, who was deported to the country from the United States last week, funneled P728 million in fertilizer funds to Arroyo’s 2004 campaign

“Joc-Joc [Bolante] should speak so that the country will be enlightened once and for all,” he said.

Arroyo beat movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. in the 2004 elections, which was ridden with allegations of fraud. In June 2005, purported wiretapped phone conversations of Arroyo and ex-elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, wherein they allegedly talked of plans to rig the vote, were leaked.

Poe died in December 2004, even before the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, could hear his electoral protest.

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2008-11-06T12:08:10+00:00UTC11bUTCThu, 06 Nov 2008 12:08:10 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm11

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