A Call to Reverse the Justice Committee's decision.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Manila Bulletin, November 18, 2002 | Go to article overview

A Call to Reverse the Justice Committee's decision.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)


HOW could the representatives in the House Committee on Justice be so blind to the serious accusations hurled against Comelec Commissioner Luzviminda Tancangco.

Let me cite here the principal charges as gleaned from the Impeachment Complaint Against her filed on 04 August 2002 before the House of Representatives.

* * *

Graft and Corruption. 1.) Commissioner Tancangco authored a change of policy directions of the Comelec but failed to disclose that Comelec would not be able to comply with Republic Act 8436, the law automating the counting and canvassing of the elections. She instead prioritized projects on the voter registration where retail cheating occurred and where Comelec's own data on multiple registrants did not justify going into such project.

In so doing, she ignored dagdag-bawas that caused wholesale cheating up to hundreds of thousands of votes manipulated at the counting and canvassing processes.

* * *

2.) Used staff and Comelec resources to promote an overly sophisticated Voter Registration and Identification System (VRIS) project, which is not supported by any law.

3.) Her pet project, the VRIS was awarded at the cost of P6.6 billion when the budget was only P1.2 billion.

On September 18, 2002, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in GR No. 151992 that the VRIS contract was void from the start because the amount exceeded funds that were available.

* * *

4.) On 12 January 2002 she recommended failure of bidding on the Automated Counting and Canvassing of Results (ACCORS) Project, which was her concept of compliance to R.A. 8436, because all three bids exceeded the budgeted amount of P500 million. Why did she not recommend a failure of bid on the VRIS project?

5.) She and three other commissioners attempted to suspend the 26 November 2001 ARMM elections in Sulu by circulating an undated resolution on the eve of the elections even if no actual en banc meeting was called or convened to pass the resolution.

* * *

6.) On 30 June 2001, she wrote the en banc resolution of case SPA No. 01-327, which was raffled to Chairman Alfredo Benipayo on 26 May 2001, who, therefore, had all the original records of the case. Those in the Judiciary and in similar institutions know that this does not happen and the system does not allow this to happen.

7.) As commissioner-incharge and without justifiable reasons, she transferred the registration of voters of Marantao, Lanao del Sur to Marawi City, outside of the territorial jurisdiction of Marantao, during the ARMM registration in 1998.

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