Comelec chief denies receiving P120-M bribe from Sokor firm

Comelec chief denies receiving P120-M bribe from Sokor firm

MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair George Erwin Garcia on Tuesday branded as “malicious” and part of a “demolition job” a lawmaker’s allegation about bribe money being deposited in his offshore bank accounts during the bidding for the new automated elections systems (AES) service provider.

In an interview with reporters, Garcia said he learned about the plot against him about two weeks ago, adding that he had asked the National Bureau of Investigation to look into it.

READ: P1-B moved from foreign banks to poll exec’s offshore accounts – Marcoleta

“Let’s not beat around the bush. I’m the one being referred to. We have information about a planned demolition job against Comelec for two weeks already,” he said.

“In truth, I don’t have even one foreign account. I can swear to it anywhere,” he stressed, saying that he was ready to sign a waiver for the said bank accounts and to give away all the money found there.

Earlier in the day, Sagip Rep. Rodante Marcoleta said he would ask the House of Representatives to investigate the poll body’s P18-billion poll automation deal for the 2025 elections, after his team discovered suspicious deposits totaling P120 million to a Comelec official’s offshore accounts during the bidding for the project.

According to Marcoleta, the money, which came from five accounts originating from South Korea, was transferred into 49 offshore accounts supposedly owned by the official, whom he did not name between June 22, 2023, and March 22 this year.

Intriguing information

This timeline, he said, coincided with the Comelec’s “favorable” decisions to eventually award the AES contract to South Korean firm Miru Systems despite its shaky record overseas.

“This is intriguing information, and they are alarming to say the least,” Marcoleta said. “But we’re asking for your patience and you’ll have to bear with me as we’re still verifying some of these.”

Garcia attributed the demolition job against him to a group of individuals opposed to the Miru contract, saying they had been “peddling” the false information to several lawmakers in recent weeks.

He added that another allegation would soon be made, this time claiming that he has many properties in the United States.

“I say categorically to the nation, as God is my witness, I don’t have any foreign account or any house or property in any foreign land,” Garcia said.

In a statement regarding the “false allegations,” Miru said it would stay focused on delivering the “best possible automated system” to fill the needs of Filipino voters.

  • https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/other/comelec-chief-denies-receiving-p120-m-bribe-from-sokor-firm/ar-BB1pH7jF?ocid=00000000

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