MANILA, Philippines - A lawyer accused of orchestrating the switching of election returns (ERs) at the Batasang Pambansa in 2005 appeared before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Thursday to clear his name.
Lawyer Roque Bello denied taking part in the alleged election fraud.
"Kung gusto niyong i-verify, nandon sa labas pa lang makikita ang laman ng bahay ko. Am I that foolish na kung meron akong ginagawang masama ay gagawin ko dun? I dont think so," he said.
The allegations against Bello are not new.
In 2006, ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) spoke with Bello after Newsbreak magazine released a picture of him supposedly manufacturing fake ERs.
Bello and his son, El, are willing to face the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Comelec's joint investigation.
He is a relative and law partner of Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes, who may inhibit himself from the probe.
"Ano magagawa ko kung siya ang ituturo?" said Brillantes, who was lawyer of former presidential candidate and late actor Fernando Poe Jr. in teh 2004 elections.
Aside from Bello, 1 of 4 new witnesses to alleged election fraud in Lanao province, Hadji Daligdig, also went to the Comelec to submit a sworn statement.
Daligdig, former chairman of poll watchdog Namfrel in Lanao, had implicated the Arroyo couple in the cheating.
"The truth should prevail, and I think this will show that the past president is a fake president," he said.
With witnesses to the alleged poll fraud coming out one by one, the DOJ and the Comelec hope that more whistleblowers will follow suit. - Report from Alex Santos, ABS-CBN News; ANC