U.S. EXPERT'S FINDINGS ON CD A 'FATAL BLOW' TO IMPEACHMENT BID

MANILA, August 12, 2005
(STAR) 08/12 4:10:22 PM - An administration lawmaker Friday twitted enemies of President Arroyo for running a “fake CD factory” after a highly credible US audio expert detected parts of the purportedly wiretapped telephone conversation between Arroyo and an election official as having been spliced.

“This confirmed our earlier fears that the Hello Garci tape has as much authenticity in it as a Quiapo CD,” Bukidnon Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri said.

It appears that the controversial tape has been “dubbed and deleted” in an underground recording studio, Zubiri said. “The Hello Garci CD is the biggest hit of the destabilizers’ label to date,” he added.

Zubiri lamented that if the findings of US and Philippine sound experts are proven true, “then it's quite sad that all the turmoil around us were triggered by a work of fiction.”

“The source of all our troubles is, apparently, a remix,” he said.

Zubiri made his comments after American Barry Dickey revealed his findings that voices were inserted in the alleged taped conversation between Arroyo and then election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

Dickey was the same voice expert who was topped by the US government in examining the Osama bin Laden tapes.

If Dickey's findings will stand test and scrutiny, then the Impeachment complaint against Mrs. Arroyo has suffered a “fatal blow,” Zubiri said.

“This one goes straight to the solar plexus. It is an impeachment ending hit,” he added.

GMA to call for impeachment case to be thrown out 08/12 3:50:15 PM

MANILA (AFP) - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is to ask Congress to throw out an impeachment case against her for alleged vote-rigging on the grounds that the main evidence had been digitally altered, a senior aide said Friday.

The impeachment complaint rests on wiretapped telephone conversations in which Arroyo and other officials are supposedly heard discussing with a top election official how the May 2004 presidential vote was being stolen.

The House of Representatives justice committee is to begin hearings on the case on Monday to determine whether the impeachment complaint is "sufficient in form and substance" and can be sent to the Senate for trial.

Natural Resources Secretary Michael Defensor, the acting spokesman for Arroyo on the impeachment case, said the president is to present to the committee a technical study of the tapes to prove that they had been "spliced".

Defensor said it was possible the voice on the tapes was Arroyo's, but that bits and pieces of different telephone conversations she had with other people had been digitally cobbled together to present the impression that the voices were discussing a criminal enterprise.

"That was her voice but she was not the one talking. The conversations have been manipulated," the official said at a news conference where the Arroyo camp released a technical study of the tapes provided by the opposition figures who launched the impeachment complaint.

"It is an electronic and digital manipulation to link the president to cheating and rigging."

Unless the opposition sponsors of the case can prove that the tapes were not tampered, "then the impeachment complaint should be thrown out," Defensor said.

"No technical studies have been done on the recordings," he added.

Arroyo has apologized to the nation for what she described was an improper telephone call to an unidentified election official before Congress could proclaim the winner of the election.

The admission sparked cabinet resignations and defections from key allies who all called on her to step down as her popularity rating dropped.

However, she insists she committed no crime and has refused to resign, urging critics to channel their complaints through the impeachment case.

The opposition has also raised other issues in its impeachment complaint, including allegations that the Arroyo family profited from illegal gambling and that the president had allegedly engaged in anomalous contracts.

The presidential palace meanwhile announced that Arroyo had appointed three members of a Manila law office as her lead counsel in the impeachment case.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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