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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Solon charges Miru payoffs to unnamed Comelec official

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A party-list lawmaker on Tuesday accused an unnamed top official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) of opening offshore bank accounts and receiving up to P120 million from the controversial South Korean firm Miru Systems.

Citing reliable sources and documentary evidence, Rep. Rodante Marcoleta of Sagip party-list group made the disclosure in light of alleged irregularities surrounding the Comelec-Miru deal to collect and count votes in the 2025 midterm elections.

While Marcoleta did not the poll body official, Comelec chairman George Garcia denied he received a bribe from the South Korean firm which bagged the P17.99 billion contract for the procurement of a new automated election system (AES) for the 2025 National and Local Elections.

To prove his innocence, Garcia requested assistance from the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the allegations.

“I am writing to formally request the assistance of your agency in investigating the recent allegations circulating online that implicate me in accepting bribe money from a Korean firm,” Garcia’s letter to the NBI read.

“These unverified claims assert that I hold numerous bank accounts across various banks in Singapore, North America, China and the Caribbean.”

He said such claims were entirely false, baseless, and a demolition job against Comelec.

Marcoleta, who vowed to file a congressional resolution on the matter, said his discovery is more than enough reason to scrap the record P18 billion deal.

“Several offshore bank accounts were allegedly opened under the name of a Comelec official. These bank accounts were opened from the time the official assumed office up to as recent as the end of 2023,” Marcoleta said.

In a presentation to reporters, Marcoleta showed that at least 14 newly opened bank accounts in Cayman Islands in the Caribbean, China, Hong Kong, North America and Singapore, supposedly belonging to the unnamed Comelec official.

“This official had a total of 49 offshore bank accounts across 18 global banks,” he said.

“To the Comelec official who owns these bank accounts — you know who you are — let me ask these questions directly: How many bank accounts does a person need, more so a government official? Mr. Comelec official, do you actually have billions that you need all these offshore accounts to move money around?”

“What makes these transactions questionable is that these alleged transactions, according to our sources, are actually deposits made to these accounts directly emanating from South Korean bank accounts, with the depositors being individuals affiliated with Miru,” Marcoleta added.

Editor’s Note: This is an updated article. Originally posted with the headline Comelec chief denies receiving bribe from Miru 

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