Garcia on Marcoleta's offshore account claim: 'Ako yung nire-refer doon'

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman George Erwin Garcia said on Tuesday, July 9, that he was the one being referred to by SAGIP Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta as the poll official who allegedly opened 49 offshore accounts.

"Huwag na natin paikut-ikutin. Ako po yung nire-refer doon. Dalawang linggo na kami may impormasyon. Actually nakaplano po yung demolition job laban sa Comelec (Let's get to the point. I'm the one being referred to there. We have received that information for two weeks. Actually, there is a planned demolition job against Comelec)," he said in a press conference.

"Napakadami ko daw foreign accounts. Sa totoo lang, wala ako kahit isang foreign account. Mapanunumpaan ko po yan kahit saan (They claim that I have a lot of foreign accounts. In reality, I don't have a single one. I can say that anywhere under oath)," he added.

Marcoleta alleged that a Comelec official opened a whopping 49 offshore accounts some of which received $2.1 million or more than P120 million in deposits from Korean bank accounts between June 22, 2023 to March 22, 2024. 

Marcoleta challenged Comelec to respond to this "intriguing information" which he bared during a press conference in Quezon City on Tuesday, July 9. 

This, as the former House deputy speaker continued to assail Comelec's chosen contractor for the 2025 automated polls, South Korea's Miru Systems Co. Ltd. Miru's contract is worth P18 billion. 

Garcia said that while the information is unverified, it stains the Comelec's credibility.
"Okay lang kung ako lang yun, no problem. Part yan ng pagiging public servant. Pero wag naman ang institusyon kasi pinaghihirapan yan ng napakadaming tao (It's alright if it's just me, it's no problem. It's part of being a public servant. But not against the institution because a lot of people worked hard on it)," Garcia said.

Garcia categorically denied having any foreign account or property in any foreign land. He said that he only these in the Philippines since he never leaves the country. 

He said that while he has the utmost respect for Marcoleta he was hoping that this information was verified first before being publicly released. 

"Nilalabanan nga ng Comelec ang fake news e. Tapos ang unang mabibiktima pa ang Chairman ng Comelec (Comelec has been fighting fake news. Yet the first victim is its own chairperson)," he added.

Garcia said that he never entered Comelec for financial gain and would never be involved in issues regarding money.

"Hindi naman ako pumasok sa Comelec para sa pera. Pwede ko naman kitain 'yang pera na yan nung nagpa-practice ako...At alam na alam yan ni Cong. Marcoleta dahil kahit singkong duling, nung panahon na nagko consult siya sa akin, kahit singkong duling wala ako kinuha sa kanya (I didn't enter Comelec for money. I could earn that money through my practice...And Cong. Marcoleta knows that because during the time that he was consulting me, I never asked him for a single cent)," he added.

Garcia said that he has already coordinated with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and that he issued a waiver for the alleged accounts.

"Kung akin yun, tingnan, buksan at alamin kung may tunay bang account, history ng account, at kung ano laman nun, kung gusto nila, kanila na laman nun (Check it if it's mine, open it, and see if it's a real account, look at the history of the account, what it contains, and if they want, they can take whatever is inside)," he said.