Zaldy could testify in ARMM poll fraud: Cayetano

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 15 2011 05:11 PM | Updated as of Jul 16 2011 01:11 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday said the government must not discount the possibility of using suspended Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Zaldy Ampatuan in cases other than the Maguindanao massacre case.

Cayetano was referring to election fraud, graft and corruption, and other anomalies during the previous administration.

He said Ampatuan's confirmation that there was massive cheating in Maguindanao during the 2007 elections, where Cayetano was said to be one of the victims, can help the government launch a full-blown investigation.

The senator believes that Ampatuan can pinpoint the mastermind behind the fraud.

"Let's not shoot down the messenger," Cayetano told reporters in a press conference. "Let's look at the message."

Meanwhile, Cayetano criticized former Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos for washing his hands of the issue of election fraud and hitting the credibility of former Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol.

Cayetano said it was during Abalos' term that Bedol became election supervisor even if he was mentioned a number of times in a wiretapped conversation between former President Gloria Arroyo and  former election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano to ensure her lead in the 2004 presidential  polls.

"Hindi puwedeng maghugas-kamay si Chaiman Abalos para sabihing nagsisinungaling si Bedol. Ang tanong ko: Bakit siya ang ginawang provincial supervisor noon samantalang nabanggit na siya noong 2004?" he said.