Friday, November 25, 2005

Garci Makes Presence Felt at SC

For two consecutive days now, hiding former COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano has been making his presence via petitions before the Supreme Court.

Atty. Eddie Tamondong who claims to be Garcillano's friend said he was asked by the former commissioner to represent him. Tamondong filed today a petition for prohibition and injunction against the House of Representatives to prevent the use of the alleged wiretapped conversation as its basis for the committee report of the "Hello Garci" probe.

Tamondong, who bore with him a petition signed by Garcillano himself, had also filed a petition to nullify the arrest warrant issued by the House of Representatives.

In their petition filed today, Tamondong said the wiretapped conversation was illegal and was not admissible as evidence in any court proceedings according to the Anti-Wiretapping Act of 1965 (R.A. 4200). As such, Tamondong asserted, the wiretapped conversation should not be used as a basis for the report.

"How can it make a valid committee report based on an inadmissible, illegal evidence?" Tamondong asked.

Tamondong also asked the Supreme Court to order the House of Representatives to strike out any references to the alleged wiretapped conversation in the committee report.

He quickly corrected implications that Garcillano was indirectly admitting that he was the voice in the controversial tape since he wants to stop its use. The Anti-Wiretapping Act supposes that only victims of wiretapping may file a case against those who produced the recording.

"He's not admitting to it. But everyone is going around town saying it was him. So that makes him a proper party to file the petition. And besides, any person may file a complain of violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law," Tamondong said.

If Garcillano is in hiding, that is because of the arrest warrant issued by the House, Tamondong explained.

"That arrest warrant is an open invitation for murder. If anything happens to him then, the person who authored this warrant may be charged for being a principal by inducement," he said.
He sought the nullification of the order saying the subpoena was not properly served and therefore Garcillano should not have been cited for contempt.

Phoenix_rising covers the Supreme Court, Justice Department, National Bureau of Investigation and the Court of Appeals for GMA Network, Inc.

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