Quantcast
Latest Stories

De Lima meddling with Comelec vs Abalos, says lawyer

By

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima

A counsel of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos on Thursday accused Justice Secretary Leila de Lima of “pressuring” the election body into excluding two former poll officials as Abalos’ coaccused in the 2007 Mindanao poll fraud case.

Lawyer Brigido Dulay said in an interview that De Lima was meddling with the Comelec’s handling of the electoral sabotage case against Susan Radam and Yogi Martirizar, former election supervisors of South and North Cotabato, respectively.

The two, along with Abalos, former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, former Maguindanao election officer Lintang Bedol and former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., were charged for allegedly manipulating the 2007 poll results in some parts of Mindanao.

Dulay said no less than Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes denied De Lima’s statement that the government was planning to utilize the former Comelec supervisors as state witnesses against Abalos.

Pressure by DOJ

“I feel that there is pressure being exerted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the Comelec to discharge Radam and Martirizar as witnesses,” Dulay told reporters.

He noted that Radam and Martirizar’s lawyer, Nena Santos, was a “good friend” of the justice secretary.

“That gives you the clue, isn’t it? They cannot deny that. I’m sure you know the influence of Nena Santos here [in the DOJ],” he added.

Brillantes denied the claim of Abalos’ son, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos, that the Comelec was set to pass a resolution dropping Radam and Martirizar as respondents in the case.

“It’s not true. I’m sure there’s no resolution on that… It may just be a rumor,” the Comelec chair said.

“The joint prosecution panel reports to me, and there’s no such resolution dropping the case against Radam and Martirizar. There’s no formal move [for the adoption of a resolution]. The case against them shall proceed,” he added.

Sought for comment, De Lima denied she was trying to coerce the Comelec into dropping the charges against Radam and Martirizar, saying the poll body “perfectly knows” the importance of their testimonies.

“We’re fully concerned and committed to ensure the successful prosecution of the big fish. Here, it’s former Comelec chair Abalos,” De Lima said in a text message to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “The profered testimonies of these two women are key to the realization of that goal. And the Comelec perfectly knows that.”

The justice secretary said her “perceived closeness” to Santos “has nothing to do” with the DOJ’s position that the pair should be discharged as government witnesses.

“Yes, she (Santos) was a law school classmate, but we’re not really close,” she said.

No counsel for Abalos

Meanwhile, Dulay disclosed that he had decided to withdraw as Abalos’ lawyer in the electoral sabotage case pending before Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas.

However, he said he would continue to represent the former Comelec chair in a similar election case being heard by another Pasay court.

“I voluntarily withdrew as counsel… to spare my client from the possible negative repercussions that may arise due to the animosity Mupas may have against me,” Dulay said, adding that Abalos had accepted his withdrawal from the case.

Mupas ordered Dulay arrested for contempt of court after he claimed in open court that the judge had tried to extort P100 million from Abalos in exchange for the latter’s temporary freedom.

The Court of Appeals reversed Mupas’ decision and lifted the arrest warrant against the lawyer on March 22.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: 2007 senatorial elections , Benjamin Abalos , Comelec , DoJ , electoral sabotage , Government , Judiciary , Leila de Lima , poll fraud


  • padrefaura

    kasama sa De Lima for senator movement yan

    • Ilonggated

      Matatalo 

  • EdgarEdgar

    Go Leila Go! Go to h3ll!

  • richie dihorsy

    “That gives you the clue, isn’t it?”…..Is this correct English grammar? tsk tsk tsk

  • richie dihorsy

    D5 will win.  Everybody knows her good intentions.   She just better prove it?



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  2. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  3. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. Solons seek ample protection for bank depositors
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Tragedies at sea: The Sewol and the Costa Concordia
  10. Santiago: Gigi Reyes is Enrile’s fall guy
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken ferry in Korea
  • Aquino: ‘Doubting Thomases’ now contributing to PH recovery
  • Fire engulfs apartments in Sampaloc
  • Messy warehouse belongs to Unicef, WFP, says Soliman
  • Suspected Abu Sayyaf rebels release hostage
  • Sports

  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement