CIRCUMSTANTIAL  EVIDENCE  FOUND IN FAKE  COCs  CASE

MANILA,  JUNE 22, 2004
(STAR) 
By Cecille Suerte Felipe  -  Although still lacking solid proof, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) remains hopeful it will prosecute those who planted the fake election documents at the Senate and House of Representatives apparently aimed at discrediting the May 10 elections.

NBI agents investigating the case admitted that at present, all the bureau has are circumstantial evidence against individuals who were alleged to have planted the envelopes containing bogus certificates of canvass (COC) and statement of votes (SOV).

But these inconclusive evidence, an NBI agent said, "could warrant the filing of charges" against the suspects.

The agent assured the NBI will pursue its investigation to identify who were behind the "planting" of the fake COCs and SOVs found at the premises of the Senate and House on May 17 and June 3, respectively.

On orders of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the NBI is tracing the origin of at least 20 pieces of the fake COCs and SOVs prompting the bureau to summon a number of Senate and House employees.

All those summoned, however, only provided circumstantial evidence to the case.

Three of five House employees recently failed the NBI’s lie-detector test, a tool to help investigators find other leads in a case but its results are not conclusive and are inadmissible in court.

NBI Director Reynaldo Wycoco said all three will remain as witnesses unless more evidence is found to link them to the fake COCs and SOVs. Ten other Congress employees have already been subpoenaed to undergo a polygraph test at the bureau.

Three envelopes containing false election documents were found on the fifth floor of the ladies’ toilet and at the stairway on the third and fourth floors of the Senate building.

A brown envelope containing more fake COCs and SOVs were also found at the lobby of the House, but security cameras failed to capture the person who supposedly planted it there. The bogus election materials discovered in both houses of Congress were similar, prompting investigators to theorize that only one group was behind the planting of the spurious documents.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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