I filed a Senate Resolution No. 589 asking the Blue Ribbon Committee and the Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation to conduct an investigation into reports by whistleblower group Wikileaks, alleging that former President Fidel V. Ramos accepted the sum of P5 million as campaign contribution from Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi for the 1992 presidential campaign.
Under the Election Code, it is a crime for any candidate to solicit or receive any contribution from foreign sources. Since Ramos has already finished his six-year term as president, he can no longer be penalized with disqualification or removal from office. But he can be held criminally liable for election offenses and offenses under the Penal Code.
Some Filipinos are probably too young to remember this, but during the 1992 elections, I led in the first five days of the national canvassing. However, after a mysterious power blackout hit the entire country, Ramos emerged with a very slim margin over me.
Because of the blatant election fraud, I refused to concede the election and went on a hunger strike. I cut short my hunger fast when Cardinal Sin, who was concerned for my health, requested that I do so.
I also filed an electoral protest with the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. While the case was ongoing, I ran and won as senator in 1998. The Supreme Court dismissed my protest, on the technical ground that my victory as senator was tantamount to abandoning the protest.
Ramos won with the lowest plurality in Philippine presidential election history with just 23.58% of the vote of my 19.72%.
To allow Ramos to go unpunished for his crimes is tantamount to reinforcing the culture of impunity in this country. Never again should we allow a presidential candidate from ever stealing the election from the real winner voted by the Filipino people.#