More woes for Abalos as son threatens prosecutorsBy Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Friday said two prosecutors would be filing criminal and administrative charges against Mandaluyong City Mayor Benjamin “Ben-hur” Abalos Jr. for allegedly making a grave threat against them during a hearing in the Pasay City regional trial court the other day.
The confrontation between the mayor and prosecutors Orlando Mariano and Mark Roland Estepa took place while the court was conducting bail hearings for Abalos’ father, former Commission on Elections chair Benjamin Abalos Sr., who had been charged with electoral sabotage.
“Last night I read the report of the panel and there was something very alarming there. There was a confrontation, it was kind of volatile. You know, the Abalos camp was becoming angry. Mayor Abalos verbally told our prosecutors, in a soft but threatening voice, ‘P.I. [an expletive] niyo, papatayin ko kayo [I’ll kill you].”
De Lima said she instructed the prosecutors to have the incident recorded in the police blotter so that the prosecutors could execute a formal affidavit. She said she learned about the incident after reading the prosecutors’ report at around 7 p.m. Thursday night.
“They were hesitant to put it in their report. But when Prosecutor-General Claro Arellano learned about it, he said the incident should be relayed to me and they should wait for my advice,” De Lima recounted.
Administrative charge such as gross misconduct and grave abuse of authority will be filed against the younger Abalos before the Department of the Interior and Local Government while a charge of grave threats will be lodged against the mayor before the Office of the Ombudsman, the Secretary added.
“You know, our people were just doing their jobs and that this is what will happen to them. Why will he be treated that way? No one should, no one can ever threaten or intimidate our prosecutors. We are not just going to sit down on this, we will really file charges,” De Lima said.