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YouTube Video Of COMELEC Toilet Incident Casts Doubt On Poll Bidding (UPDATED)

May 15, 2009

YOUTUBE RAFARANAN FF CRUZ IN COMELEC TOILET MONTAGE

The images speak volumes however anyone looks at them.

Apparently video taped by a fourth individual allegedly inside one of the toilets of the COMELEC, the images purportedly show the poll body’s Special Bidding And Awards Committee chairman, Atty. Ferdinan Rafanan standing beside a man in a white barong, allegedly Mr. FF Cruz.

This is the YouTube link to the original 26-second clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-1O2cPveCM

Slightly bent, Mr. Cruz is described as signing the bid documents of his joint venture group with Israeli firm Gilat for the COMELEC’s PhP 11.3-B contract for a nationwide automated elections system for next years elections.

The story first broke out yesterday with the newspaper Dsaily Tribune referring to a YouTube video of the toilet episode.

http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20090515com1.html

In the montage above are unaltered freeze frames from that YouTube footage which runs all of 26 seconds.

The material was posted  on May 8, 2009 with the following description:

F.F. Cruz senior, recorded on video signing documents in the bathroom of COMELEC, during the recent bid procedures for the automated election system for 2010, while the chairman Ferdinand Rafanan gave him three hours to find missing bid documents and publically waiting for a representative of his company to show up. May 6, 2010 – 5:29 pm”

This potentially explosive material certainly injects circumstantial elements that cast further doubt on the integrity of the COMELEC bidding process.

This writer spoke early today with a senior personality in the Gilat-FF Cruz consortium and they are withholding comment on the issue for the meantime.

There is no escaping the imperative need for this matter to be fully investigated, not least by the legislative entities with oversight functions over agencies of government, in this case the constitutional commission that is the COMELEC.

UPDATE:

Who filmed the toilet episode and how it was taken will be key to uncovering the motive for its posting on the video-sharing site.

Over DZMM radio this morning COMELEC Chairman categorically denied that Atty. Rafanan is one of the three men in the footage.

But the poll body chief made it a point to say that a No Elections (NO-EL) scenario may be among the dangers we are facing now, apart from the problems in the automated elections bidding.

Chairman Melo is now being reported to have asked both the NBI and his office’s resident Ombudsman to look into the YouTube brouhaha:

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/161351/Comelec-asks-NBI-resident-ombudsman-to-probe-YouTube-video

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