Mayuga Report declassified

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 17 2011 06:16 PM | Updated as of Aug 18 2011 10:32 AM

MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - President Benigno Aquino III has declassified the so-called Mayuga Report that contains the results of an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) fact-finding board's probe into the alleged military involvement in the suspected rigging of the 2004 presidential elections.

The report was named after the leader of the panel, then Navy Flag Officer in Command Mateo Mayuga.

The other panel members were then Major Generals Raul Relano and Romulo Alamillo, Commodore Emilio Maragayag and then Colonel Caridad Aguilar.

The board was constituted in july 14, 2005, weeks after the "Hello, Garci" audio recordings surfaced.

Among the facts discussed were:

1. The AFP was deputized to perform election duties pursuant to Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Resolution 6454 promulgated December 10, 2003.

2. Military personnel were trained and utilized by the COMELEC as members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) in Lanao and Sulu provinces.

3. The canvassing of votes was conducted in 2 AFP camps in Mindanao as directed by COMELEC officials.

4. The AFP assisted the COMELEC in clustering precincts in some areas.

5. Some military personnel were utilized as security officers/security escorts during the election period.

6. Senior officers were moved from their posts during the election period: then Brigadier Generals Alexander Yapching and Fracisco Gudani; a certain Col. Pirino, and Capt. Feliciano Angue.

7. The COMELEC released P197 million to the AFP as fund support.

8. Four generals were mentioned in the "Hello Garci" recordings: Gudani, Roy Kyamko, Hermogenes Esperon and Gabriel Habacon.

9. The board also found out:

  • Alleged offers and acceptance of bribe money to favor candidates.
  • Alleged campaigning by some officers for a particular candidate.

The Board's findings include:

1. There were indications of commission or omission by some military officers in the performance of their election deputation duties for 2004 reflective of unprofessional conduct.

2. Some AFP personnel performed functions beyond their mandate of their deputation duties pursuant as indicated by their utilization as BEIS, canvassing of votes inside camps, assistance to COMELEC in clustering precints, movement of personnel during the election period without COMELEC approval.

The Board concluded, among other things, that there were acts or omissions committed by some military personnel; beyond the norms of professional conduct expected of them.

However, the report also said that the AFP cannot be faulted entirely for some lapses in the conduct of deputation duties.

Portions of the summary of the interviews with resource persons showed the following:

Capt. Feliciano Angue, under oath, said he was offered but he declined a bribe offer by a politician.

When asked if the military was involved in partisan politics, Habacon said: "I could not answer that."

Meanwhile, then Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Garcia told the panel he heard from officers on the ground that senior officers were playing politics.  However, he has no proof to show for this.

Garcia also had an opinion on the "Hello, Garci" recordings.

"I think it is true and you better accept it at this point in time. We all know it. Whether you would deny it to yourself or not we have to accept it that our officers have been involved in this. I think if you look deep down inside yourself and ask yourself your honest opinion, whether you believe  our officers can be capable of cheating or does it happen, the answer is yes. There are people among us who allowed themselves to be used. Let us not joke ourselves or try to delude ourselves in the idea na walang nangyari," he said.

Esperon, meanwhile, boasted that the elections were clean.

From a cursory reading of the documents, there was no mention or reference to then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The Mayuga report contained the main report as well as voluminous transcripts.

Bayan Muna lawmakers Teddy Casiño and Neri Colmenares presented it to the media on Wednesday.

There are concerns that the report seems to clear the military of allegedly rigging the elections.

Casino says this seems to the problem with having the military investigate its own.

The lawmakers want to go through the voluminous document, including annexes and transcripts to look for leads.

The Department of National Defense released the report following a threat by some congressmen to "hostage" its 2012 budget.