Look of the Year

Click here for DZMM interview with Sarmiento.

Inquirer update: I will not resign as commissioner – Sarmiento

The “Look of the Year” award should go to Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento when he was confronted by ABS-CBN News Channel correspondent Ricky Carandang with the video he got of election returns being transported to Maria Cristina Hotel in Iligan City last Monday.

That “look” was captured vividly on TV and seen here and abroad.

It was nakakahiya. A Comelec official caught covering up for something that his people were trying to hide.

Carandang and fellow ANC correspondent Noel Alamar chanced upon bundles of election returns being transferred to the hotel facilitated by Jubil Surmieda of the Comelec’s legal department.

Under Comelec rules, election returns should be under the safe-keeping of the provincial treasurer.

In Carandang’s explosive report, he asked Sarmiento about the transported ER’s and he denied it. When told that the ERS were in the hotel, he and Surmieda, who acted like more like a thug rather than a Comelec official, Sarmiento still denied it.

But when Carandang showed the video he took of the ERs being hauled to the hotel’s elevator, Sarmiento grappled for a justification. He looked pathetic. He said the transfer was upon his orders to make sure that the documents would not be used to rig the special elections in parts of the province. The provincial treasurer, however, said she did not know about Sarmiento’s orders.

When asked by Carandang, why he would entrust custody of the important documents to a group of Comelec officials that included Renault “Boy” Macarambon, Sarmiento reacted sharply and talked about “due process”.

Macarambon is a Comelec lawyer who was detailed in the office of Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano in 2004.

If Sarmiento is wondering why the public distrusts Macarambon, may we refer him to the transcript of the Hello Garci tapes especially the conversations on May 25, 2004, 7:52 p.m.

In that conversation that Garcillano was having with a certain “Danny”, they were talking about 40,000 more votes needed. And as of that day, they already had 39,000. Remember that this conversation was almost two weeks after election.

Danny and Garci were talking about Cotabato City and Lanao del Sur.

Danny said, in the six municipalities “panalo daw siya doon”.

Garcillano said, “Mananalo siya talaga. Nandoon si Louie…Macarambon eh.

For all we know, Sarmiento knows all these very well. Like he knew about the transfer of the custody of the ERs to Surmieda and Macarambon. He has become one of them.

Related report:

ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs condemned Tuesday the death threats received by its television anchorman and radio reporter in connection with stories they filed from the special elections held in Lanao del Sur over the weekend.

“ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs condemns, in the strongest possible terms, these attempts to intimidate the members of our Newsgathering team. We would also like to warn those involved that their identities are known to us,” said Maria Ressa, head of the ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs. Click here for full report.

May 30, 2007 6:29 am   Posted in: Election 2007, Malaya, Media

38 Responses

  1. vic - May 30, 2007 9:25 am

    Sarmiento said that he will resign if the incident proven to be irregular. And he is a Lawyer. Had we heard such oft repeated statement from just about everyone of them?

    No, I think he would not just resign, but investigated about the attempts to alter the documents and it is a Crime.

    And like the Liars before him, I’m Pretty sure that the Big Boss Abalos, instead of investigating these anomalies, will again defend one of his Operators. It is Shame, shame that the very people entrusted to keep the sanctity of the ballots are the ones doing the unspeakable violations.

    The Code is clear on the Matter. Only the Provincial Treasurer has the Responsibility for safekeeping the documents.
    It is exactly the same Here, where all ballots after the Election for Local Election are kept in a Secret place known only to the City or Town Treasurer and one other witness, Just in case, a recount is ordered by the courts.

  2. Diego K. Guerrero - May 30, 2007 10:02 am

    Parang ibig sabihin ni Komisyoner Rene Sarmiento wala siyang tiwala sa provincial treasurer pero may tiwala siya sa mga Garci suwutik boys katulad nila Surmieda at Macarambon. Walang maniwala ang kanilang palusot dahil sira na ang kanilang kredibilidad.

  3. rose - May 30, 2007 10:22 am

    Re- the delay in canvassing. Ang sabi ni Abalos “Don’t look at us” He is still cooking.Ang still waiting for the main dish na galing sa Maguindanao. Pagdating ng amo niya iyon ang ihahain niya. In the meantime she will go to Rome to pray for a miracle na maluto ng husto ang mga specialties niya- a cooked daya na well done- At si Consumisioner Abalos naman ay mag pa facelift. What a pair- “babaeng aso” and “Anak ng Baril” Talagang walang kapares. The miracle she is praying for- mapasok si Zubiri, Defensor at Recto,

  4. we-will-never-learn - May 30, 2007 10:41 am

    Good job done for ABS-CBN and the whole community here and abroad. The look on Sarmiento’s face says one word – GUILTY!

    Prosecute Sarmiento, otherwise its all for nought!

  5. vendictimus - May 30, 2007 10:43 am

    25 May 2007 Abante Issue…Editorial.

    “we will file criminal cases against ARMM Comelec Regional Director Atty. Rey Sumalipao and Comelec Region 11 Director Remlane Tambuang,” pagdidiin ni Pimentel.
    Habambuhay na pagkabilanggo ang maaaring kaharapin ng dalawa dahil sa paglabag sa Republic Act No. 9369.”

    Para sa akin,
    Mababaw pa rin ang parusa! kaya si Jocjoc Bolante et.al malabo maparusahan. May narinig na ba kayong Gov’t Official sa Phil.na nasalang sa Death Penalty? kung meron paki-poste na lang dito. Dapat FIRING SQUAD ang parusa sa mga corrupt, mandaraya!!!!

    Hintayin ko yan filing of charges ng GO Team. Tatandaan ko yan!!!

  6. vendictimus - May 30, 2007 10:44 am

    Dapat ganito ang parusa sa Phil….!!!!!!!

    By AUDRA ANG, Associated Press Writer
    Tue May 29, 7:15 AM ET

    Beijing’s No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court convicted Zheng Xiaoyu of taking bribes in cash and gifts worth more than $832,000 while he was director of the State Food and Drug Administration, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Those bribes allowed eight companies to get around drug approval standards, it said.
    The punishment was appropriate given the “huge amount of bribes involved and the great damage inflicted on the country and the public,” Xinhua said.
    Zheng’s sentence was unusually harsh given his rank, though the Communist Party has in recent years pressed an anti-corruption campaign with renewed vigor. The last time someone of Zheng’s rank was executed was in December 2003, when Wang Huaizhong, the deputy governor of central Anhui province, was put to death for corruption.

  7. we-will-never-learn - May 30, 2007 10:45 am

    Good job done by Ricky Carandang’s explosive report for ABS-CBN

  8. xanadu - May 30, 2007 11:01 am

    Ma’m Ellen’s entry is: Look of the Year
    Philippine Star headline: Abalos on fraud: “Don’t look at us”.

  9. ystakei - May 30, 2007 11:11 am

    Don’t believe Abaloslos. In fact, all the polling precincts are given instruction to send back the boxes with the ballots, CoCs, etc. as soon as they are finished with counting of the votes. I understand that each polling precinct is supposed to count only 500 ballots, so why the stupidity of continuously delaying the counting, and declaring of winners? It oozes of inefficiency and incompetence.

    And where is the supposed head of state amidst the chaos? Out gallivanting somewhere! She should not in fact be allowed to go to Rome amidst the turmoil at home regarding this election made messy by her attempt to steal votes again. Dapat sinisingil ang ungas because what she is going there for is not official but a private visit, and so was her visit to Japan that was why she was not given an official police escort.

    Sobra ang pagka-irresponsible. Totoo nga siguro ang balitang she is not in control but those military guys who are now even trying to steal votes by having their sundalong kanin and military hoodlums there intimidating, threatening and frightening the electorates. Ang tindi talaga!

  10. xanadu - May 30, 2007 11:36 am

    I have long suspected that Mrs. Arroyo trips abroad were scheduled beforehand because she can read naman the writings on the wall in so far as the senate race is concerned. It is clear to us that the oppositions victory in the Senate is what Mrs. Arroyo would rather not see. Kahit sabihin pang nasa panig niya ang mga local officials, she cannot also accept that the return of Sen. Lim in Manila, the reelection of Mayor Binay in Makati and Mayor Trinidad of Pasay broadened the opposition base in Metro Manila. Malaking dagok ito sa kanya, sa totoo lang.

    We could very well say that the Senate elections are decided on SI GLORIA ANG ISYU which we extensively discussed in this blog and the result will have a strong national character. It is clear that the triumph of GO senators being a national mandate has a magnitude of devastating disaster that hit the administration. Minabuti pa ni Mrs. Arroyo na magbiyahe para magpalamig although we are sure, she’s still calling the shots.

  11. xanadu - May 30, 2007 12:16 pm

    But look, nag-resign lang pala naman si Rene Sarmiento sa pagiging head ng Task Force, not from the Comelec as a Commissioner. Health reason daw? Nakunan lang ng TV camera nagkasakit na, ano ba yan? That’s dereliction of duty, kung baga sa giyera, nasa kalagitnaan ng labanan, tumalikod sa tungkulin. Sa ibang bansa lalo na sa Japan, nagpapakamatay ang ganyan. Dito, baka ma-promote pa yan. Pero baka naman may pagasa tayong si Rene Sarmiento ay gagawa ng isang kabayanihan. Siya mismo ang pagsisiwalat ng pandaraya ng Comelec. Sige na, please.

  12. martina - May 30, 2007 12:36 pm

    Ang muckha pala ni Rene ay parang madaling mabili (can be bought). Bakit ginamit niya ang salitang ‘resign’ when i think the more appropriate word is ‘give up’ or relinquish’. Resign to my mind would most appropriately apply to his position by appointment and not by on his mere designation, like as head of a task force.

  13. martina - May 30, 2007 12:45 pm

    Or, tama ang term niyang ginamit na mag-reresign siya (as commissioner) pero that was done or uttered without thinking, kaya ngayon gusto na niyang bawiin at palabasin na resignation lang as head of a task force. Palusot, typical of the tiyanak’s.

  14. xanadu - May 30, 2007 1:08 pm


    Thanks, binigyan mo ako ng idea at pwede rin ito sa kabilang thread:

    Resignation (according to Sarmiento):
    1. The act of giving up his duty after being caught not doing his duty and immediately returning to his home office just to receive his Look of the Year award.

    2. A perfect subterfuge of a patented cheating operation which was discovered in the act and now being played worldwide via YouTube.

  15. parasabayan - May 30, 2007 1:26 pm

    Maybe if we follow China’s harsh punishment for corruption, titino lahat ng government officials. Dahil sa wala tayong death penalty ngayon, life in prison na lang. I think this is what is wrong with our judicial system. The trial takes a century. Patay na ang witnesses, hindi pa tapos ang kaso. Along the way, the lawyers make money, the judges make money. Kawawa ka talaga kung ikaw a “wrongly accused”, mabubulok ka na lang sa bilanguan. This is why the real criminals like the tiyanak and her lapdogs have perfected a system to “not get caught”! The innocent victims are in prison and the real first class criminals are enjoying their freedom and their loot to boot. This is the Filipino style of justice.

    Sarmiento may be the new kid on the block (the tiyanak’s circle) so he got caught very easily. Maybe this is his first big offense but since the tiyanak’s dogs will try to bail him out this time, next time, this guy will be as crooked as Abalos, Garci and all the hard core COMOLEC officials. Mayroon na silang pang-blackmail sa kanya. The tiyanak is in the same boat, a lot of the dogs around her have the goods on her-they know how she cheated her way into her bogus presidency so she can not say anything or do anything to hang anyone of them. She will be hanged first if she starts to sing. This is how downright dirty the whole political system is in the Philippines. So, all of them wallow in the mud until they get into the quicksand! Soon, I hope!

  16. Valdemar - May 30, 2007 7:22 pm

    Look of the year? I see that look in Abalos, and that lady who said ‘Hilo, Grrrcy..’ ‘I’m sorrry’ and even the guy who said ‘Noted.’
    And their lawyers saying, “May ibidinsiya ba sila…?” What kind of people do we have around us? Lawyers of the third kind!

  17. AdeBrux - May 30, 2007 7:28 pm

    There’s another look of the year in the making, Ellen after Gloria reads that Australia raises travel advisory for Philippines again.

    Hahahah! Gloria just doesn’t get it!

    While Gloria goes romping around in Australia on a State visit no less and to sign the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), well, according to reports that is, her host country has just raised its warning to Australians who might want to visit the Philippines.

    And I can’t blame them – sounds right to pre-empt the midget’s brag that elections in the Philippines are “peaceful and successful.”

    Quite right of Australians to show Gloria Arroyo that they don’t suffer fools!

  18. BOB - May 30, 2007 7:57 pm

    ako iba ang tingin ko sa mga biyahe ni pandak…kaliwat, kanan na naman ang mga uutangin niyan ,iyong iba deposit sa account ng Pilipinas yung iba deposit sa account ni Pidal…siyempre katatapos lang nang election at kailangang makabawi nang gastos….mga hayup na yan!!!!Ang kakapal nang mga pagmu-mukha….pinag-tatawanan naman sila pag-talikod nila….!!! Hoy glueria and company (entourage) , sana huag na kayong bumalik sa pilipinas..mga bwisit….matanggal sana ang pakpak nang eroplano niyo !

  19. vic - May 30, 2007 9:23 pm

    So Rene Sarmiento had already some prepared alibi if get caught doing some hanky panky. No, never believe a word of what a ‘defensive’ cornered pickpocket has to say. I had witnessed many, many Liars who said different thing in their News conferences and interviews, and when the time comes under oath facing the Inquiry and the evidence stack against them, and the pain of punishment for felonies, perjury plus the original sins are certain as the sun rises in the morning, the sing like parrots and face the consequence. And one of our politicians here even got the distinction by being noted by the Inquiry Head in her report that his nose grew longer every time he opens his mouth, and he faded in shame and disgrace. Yes, don’t let it stop after resigning. Pursue the matter, until the cleaning is done and thorough…

  20. xanadu - May 30, 2007 10:31 pm

    Ma’m Ellen

    Isang request lang po kung pwede. Paki poste pictures ni Mrs. Macagarapal Arroyo, Abalos, Bunye, Ermita, Saludo, JDV at iba pang personalidad ng present administration. Bibigyan namin ng akmang description para malaman natin kung who ang “has the look” at mabigyan ng rating kung sino-sino ang runners-up sa Look of the Year Award.

    Pagkatapos nila, yon namang nasa kabilang panig.

  21. rose - May 30, 2007 10:32 pm

    I saw the picture of Sarmiento- last night sa breaking news of ABS-CBN at ang mukha ay pulang pula na parang dinudugo. Ang akala ko ay his face turned red sa hiya- pero wala siya noon. Then I thought sinuntok at pinatukan na mga tao kaya tumakbo na siya sa Manila. Yon pala ay make up para pagdating ng “Babaing Aso” sasalabungin niya ng SEE THIS? I GOT THIS BECAUSE OF YOU. NOW YOU BETTER GIVE ME FIVE, A HIGH FIVE- FIVE TRILLION EURO DOLLARS – ARRAYYY-OOOOO MAUUBOS NA ANG PERA NG PILIPINAS….Come to think of it- did you go to Italy to pray for a miracle through the intercession of this new saint? Or was it just a reason so you can deposit more and open more accounts. Ano kaya ang sasabihin niya kay Pope Benedict? Nakakahiya itong Babaing Aso at yong Anak ng Baril na Sarmiento. Isa a graduate of
    Assumption and the other a graduate of San Beda a school run by Benedictine monks. Stray Dogs! Ang asong ulol ay binabaril.

  22. Emilio_OFW - May 31, 2007 12:33 am

    Maihahalintud natin ang mga pangyayari sa Maria Cristina Hotel na nakunan ng video footages nina Ricky Carandang at Noel Alimar ng ABS-CBN na malaking tanggi ni COMELEC Commissioner Rene Sarmiento na hindi totoo iyon:

    Ganito ang malikhaing scenario na kitang-kita nina Ricky at Noel na nakapatong si Rene sa isang pokpok:

    Ricky: Commissioner, ngayon ba ay itatanggi pa ninyo ang nakita namin ni Noel?

    Rene: Wala naman akong ginagawa, ah.

    Ricky: Ayan, oh nakakumot pa kayo at tinatakpan ninyo ang mukha ng babaing nasa ilalim ninyo.

    Rene: Wala…wala… wala…

    Ricky: Ayan na nga po, eh ang ibidensya.

    Rene: Bakit gumagalaw ba ang puwet ko?


    Anak ng teteng, talaga oh – kita na ang pruweba… iwas pusoy pa rin, eh!

  23. xanadu - May 31, 2007 12:37 am

    Anong kayang hitsura ng LOOK ni Mrs. Arroyo sa oras na malaman niyang nag-concede na si Tol Mike? Baka muntik nang malaglag ang nunal!

  24. BOB - May 31, 2007 1:16 am

    sabi pa nitong si Sarmiento ” It was baptism of fire, because I discover how our muslim brothers were very passionate in their elections”…….
    Ok. Mr. Sarmiento sige na…nagkaroon na nang botohan diyan, ang problema hindi yung botohan na nangyari , kungdi kung papaano mo pinalitan ang mga boto ng mga kapatid nating muslim, kung papaano niyo binasura ang talagang boto nila, kung papaano niyo iniiba ang tunay na damdamin ng mga kapatid nating muslim,….Sinayang mo ang maganda mong pangalan…sa ngayon pareho na kayong popular ni Garci…Mahiya ka naman…! mag-resign ka nang tuluyan !

  25. AdeBrux - May 31, 2007 2:01 am

    Bob reports, ” It was baptism of fire, because I discover how our muslim brothers were very passionate in their elections”…….”

    Mais, il est completement con ce Mr Sarmiento, t’es pas seulement con, t’es un CRAPAUD, Sarmiento! Sure, that’s why they buy votes by the thousands, intimidate their fellomen there to vote for candidates who can pay more, allows warlords to shit on them voters – yeah, yeah, pssionate indeed! Well he can put that passionate thingy where it belongs.


  26. we-will-never-learn - May 31, 2007 3:04 am

    The look on Sarmiento’s face was if he was thinking to himself ‘Do I call this a clerical erroe – or – honest mistake’ no wait I know; I’ll call it PERSECUTION!’

  27. we-will-never-learn - May 31, 2007 3:05 am

    clerical error

  28. we-will-never-learn - May 31, 2007 3:50 am

    When the Cemelec is sat in session you will always see a female acomelec cleak/official sat immediately in front of them. Now, can you describe the look on her face? hehehe

  29. we-will-never-learn - May 31, 2007 3:54 am

    Comelec – sorwee about typing errors but I’m burning the midnight oil, can’t get into EllensVille during the day, its so busy. Its good that your blog is so popular Ellen, well done you deserve it..

  30. mher - May 31, 2007 5:11 am

    sana sa susunod na halalan wala ng botohan , jack en poy na lang hindi pa magastos pero wag mag alaala ang mga team unity kc may dayaan pa rin d2 bastat wag mo lang bilisan ang magpakita ng mga daliri mo. sana sa 2010 ganito lang at ang gawin referee si sarmiento para kung magkasakit man oks lang andyan naman si abalos kya wlang problema: kya next election may pag asa pa rin si pichay kahit naubos na n ung pera niya ( galing ba sa kanya iyon) cgro hawak naman yta ang susi ng baul kya lang ubos na kya sa susunod Jack n poy n lang kya ngayon pa lang pichay practice mo ung mga kamay mo, masama iyong nasa isip mo, sbi ko jack en poy.

  31. myrna - May 31, 2007 7:21 am

    wwnl, parang alam ko ang pangalan nung babae na palaging nakaupo pagka meron sessin en banc ang comelec, especially sa canvassing. hehehhe…..may tililing din yun. kilala ko yun. yan eh, if we’re both referring to that ugly looking one na parang lahat ng problema ng mundo pasan-pasan, at feeling beautiful pa siya hah!

    hahahhah… *oink* oink”

    how did i know? i worked once at the main office…and after more than 3 years…di ko ma-take yung corruption, hahhah. especially nung si davide na umupo!

    ganyan sila noon, ganito pa rin ba hanggang ngayon? pagkaraan ng dalawang dekada? hay buhay pinoy nga naman….tumatagal lalong nagiging hopeless ang comelec!

  32. we-will-never-learn - June 1, 2007 3:36 am

    At first I thought she was holding a silent protest fan of Garcie to her face – what an ugly woman – forget the beauty clinic – better she visits an auto shop and get the panel beater to get to work hehehe smile

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