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Comelec official voices fears of Arroyo release this week

Manila— Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo might still escape prison if the Supreme Court ruled that the joint panel created to investigate the alleged poll fraud in 2007 was unconstitutional, an official of the Commission on Elections.

Election Commissioner Rene Sarmiento was vocal about his worries that might override what appeared to be the government’s successful move to prevent Arroyo from leaving the country.

In an interview with reporters last Friday, Sarmiento saw the possibility of Arroyo being freed should the high tribunal rule in favor of the latter’s petition questioning the constitutionality of the Comelec-Department of Justice (DOJ) joint panel.

“If the Supreme Court would say it is illegal or unconstitutional, that might be the effect… it might nullify [her arrest],” said Sarmiento, who was among the five of the seven members of the Comelec en banc who voted for the filing of electoral sabotage against Arroyo on Friday.

Two election commissioners did not take part in the voting since they claimed that they did not receive a copy of the joint resolution earlier.

But in the same breath, Sarmiento said he was confident about the legality of the creation of the joint panel, which was established based on Republic Act 9369.

Under the law, the Comelec is allowed to form a joint panel for such purposes.

Sarmiento said the law was the body’s basis in forming the fact-finding team. “So we can say that we acted with legal support.”

But should the Supreme Court decide against their favor, the Comelec’s recourse would conduct and resolve the investigation on its own, said Sarmiento.

“What will happen is that the Comelec will investigate on its own…without the DOJ. But we won’t go back to square one because there are already affidavits submitted,” he added.

Supreme Court spokesman and court administrator Jose Midas Marquez said the separate petitions filed by Arroyo’s husband, Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, and former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Benjamin Abalos continue to be pending with the high tribunal.

Both pleadings questioned the legality of the joint investigation panel of the Comelec and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In the event that the magistrates granted the petitions, Marquez said the filing of the electoral sabotage case against Arroyo could be considered “void ab initio (from the start).”

“If that panel is adjudged as unconstitutional, then of course all the proceedings conducted by that panel would have to be nullified,” Marquez said, adding”

“But again, we have to wait for the decision of the Court. I don’t want to preempt what the Court will do next.”

He said Mike Arroyo and Abalos’ petitions had been consolidated and were expected to be tackled during the regular en banc session on Tuesday.

Ferdinand Topacio, Mike Arroyo’s lawyer, decried the DOJ-Comelec panel as “a kangaroo court designed for persecuting the former first gentleman and his ailing wife.”

Topacio said the creation of the panel should be considered null and void since both Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. once worked as lawyers of Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, one of the complainants in the poll fraud case. Inquirer

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Tags: Benigno Aquino III , electoral fraud , Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo , Government , Supreme Court

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W4RTNUSX3BQCWCDQAA562BFC5I Lito G

    If ever SC free Arroyo from jail it will be a mockery of justice by no other than the SC midnight appointees headed by Supreme Corrupt Justice Corona and its speaker Hudas Midas. Filipino people should go back to streets to kick-out these corrupt justices and to prevent Arroyo from fleeing the country. Dapat magbayad ang pamilyang Arroyo sa mga pagnanakaw, pandaraya, at kawalanghiyaan ginawa nila sa bayan.

  • Anonymous

    Commissioner Sarmiento, are you not convinced of your position over the legality of the DOJ-COMELEC to warrant your worries?

    What is being hurled against you is the violation of the equal protection clause for singling out Arroyo.  Simple, charge all others cases of electoral sabotage in the same vein and speed as you have done with the Arroyo case.  How then could you be charged of violating the equal protection clause?

    • Anonymous

      I think what he worry is the question about the neutrality of the DOJ-COMELEC panel.

      • Anonymous

        That may be so… Regretfully partiality may be fairly expected in the resolution which called for the filing of the instant electoral sabotage suit. Moreso, partiality may not be sufficient grounds to challenge the filing of the electoral sabotage case. The COMELEC is duty bound to file and prosecute such cases.

        I believe the good Commissioner’s fears are borne because of this very association with Secretary Delima and her woes with the High Tribunal.

        Worse, and with all due respect to the good commissioner, he does not have the balls to stand on his decision. Atty. Topacio was bold, if not stupid, to put his on the line. (“,)

  • Anonymous

    Arroyo corruption and many more..
    1. NBN ZTE Scandal

    2. Millions of bribe money to Congressmen and Governors (October 2007)

    3. Cheating in 2004 Elections (Hello Garci)

    4. Joc Joc Bolante Case (Fertilizer Scam, P728 Million)

    5. Jose Pidal Bank Account (Unexplained Wealth, P200 Million)
    6. Nani Perez Power Plant Deal ($2 Million)

    7. Use of Road User’s Tax for Campaigning

    8. Billion Peso Macapagal Boulevard (Overprice of P532 Million)

    9. Juetengate? (Illegal Numbers game kickbacks)

    10. Extra Judicial Killings
    11. Arroyo Moneys in Germany (Exposed by Senator Cayetano)
    12. General Garcia and Other Military Men

    13. Billion Peso Poll Automation contract to(Mega Pacific) (P1.3 Billion)

    14. Northrail Project($503 Million)

    15. Maguindanao Results of 2007 Elections (Zubiri, Bedol)

    16. NAIA-3

    17. Venable Contract (Norberto Gonzales)

    18. Swine Scam (Exposed by? Atty. Harry Roque
    19. GLORIA Arroyo son hidden assets in united states
    22.the C-5 road controversy — Senator Manuel Villar
    23.P550-million worth of funds from the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA).
    24 P780-million LWUA funds-Prospero Pichay
    25 Bishop’s SUV-Gloria Birthday gift
    26 Arroyo linked in P325M lotto intelligence fund
    27 Arroyo got P200M in kickbacks from govt projects-Zaldy Ampatuan 
    28.P200.41 billion or $4.6 billion in Malampaya royalties from 2002 to May this year.

    30. 600,000 metric tons of Rotten rice imported from India.Kishore Hemlani, an Indian trader allegedly close to Arroyo, reportedly bagged the P9.5 billion contract for the rice importation. 
    31.Dato Arroyo wife bought the condo unit for $570,000, 70-square-meter one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit (Unit No. 533) at the luxury high-rise, full-service Gramercy Towers located at 1177 California St. in upscale downtown San Francisco.
    32.- P50-million bribe to FG for the president’s veto of two franchise bills
    33.The additional funding led to a 41-percent spike in advertising expenses, from P76.129 million in 2008 to P107.420 million in 2009, which went mostly to ads for Arroyo’s achievements.
    34.The report said the PIA received from the Department of Budget and Management a notice of cash allocations amounting to P344.789 million, even though only P222.488 million was appropriated for it under the national budget.
    35.- Denial of pork barrel funds to Malacanang’s political enemies
    36.- Praises for Jovito Palparan, alleged mastermind of extra judicial killings of militants
    37.- Removal of govt bodyguards for former pres and Arroyo critic, Cory Aquino
    38.- Appointment of manicurist as a member of the board of Pag-Ibig
    39.- Appointment of gardener as deputy of the Luneta Park Administration.
    40.- Midnight appointment of an Arroyo,Renato Corona, as SC Chief Justice

    - 200+ other illegal midnight appointments
    41.- Mikey Arroyo’s undeclared properties in California
    42.- Pardon of controversial convicted criminals like Ninoy’s murderers
    43.- EO 464; requiring Cabinet members to seek presidential clearance before testifying in Congress hearings

    44.- Promise (on Rizal Day) to not run for the presidency in 2004

    45.- “Vote Buying” by giving away Philhealth cards

    46.- Taxpayers’ money for her giant billboards and and PCSO tv campaign ads[/b]

    47- Appointment of Ben Abalos, a staunch GMA ally, as COMELEC chair
    48.- Mikey Arroyo’s importation of 32 thoroughbred horses from Australia worth P384 million.
    49.Former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo used 2 choppers 16 times, son Mikey 69
    50.PNoy: PAGCOR spent P1B on coffee
    51.Jose Miguel Arroyo owned helicopters’
    all Robinson R44 Raven Is with Series Nos. 1370 to 1374
    A total of $1,423,025 was paid to Lionair for the five helicopters.
    52.Pagcor ‘pabaon’ to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo: P345M
    53.The godmother’s ties to the Pinedas(Jueteng lord)
    54.Glorietta 2 and Batasan bombings
    The Glorietta 2 bombing happened during the height of the bribery case which took place in Malacañang.

    55.Misuse of Balikatan funds
    Navy Lt. Nancy Gadian revealed an alleged malversation of funds in 2007
    56.Solon: Charge Gloria Arroyo for taking P98-M from PNoy’s social fund
    Former Armed Forces chiefs of staff Narciso Abaya, Dionisio Santiago, Generoso Senga, Hermogenes Esperon, and Alexander Yano,chiefs of staff – Angelo Reyes, Diomedio Villanueva, and Roy Cimatu
    and MANY MORE..
    58.Colmenares: GMA had P488 billion in ‘pork.
    59.P1B down the drain in Arroyo-era jatropha project—DOST chief

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7V3LRKVRNZAHKZKPRLAFIJXA5E Ming Mow

    @Lito G@g0:disqus
    the only mockery of justice is done by the moronic Malacanang railroading the case against GMA, imagine  they produce the case + the warrant in just 4 hours. If that justice why not give that fast tract justice to every Filipino people not just this. Penoy is the king of stupidity and People who believes and voted for him are maggot brain. yes, GMA is corrupt and must answer his wrongdoing but not at the expense of violating the laws of the land. Aquino also should answer for the massacre he and his family committed, killing helpless farmers who disagree with them. Cory and Penoy are the same blood with the Ampatuans both are murderers.

  • Anonymous

    Ang sabi ni Susan ay “Ang magnanakaw ay kapatid ng mandaraya”. Pero may bago ngayon, “Ang magnanakaw na mandaraya ay kapatid ng walong Justices”.


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G7ROPG2J6GSEKG6KUYD3D5K6AE enteng

    At this point in time the people of the country must overrule the Supreme Court’s own version of the rule of law and due process. The 8 Supreme Court justices should not play god or tinker with the law unless they want to be dragged out of the court house. Matakot ka Corona!! Look at what happened to Momar Kadafi. Would you and your cohorts like to be treated like him? It’s very possible. Magisip-isip ka. My country men prepare for People Power against these 8 fake justices!!!!! On Monday assemble in front of the Supreme Court. Be vigilant.

  • Anonymous


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7V3LRKVRNZAHKZKPRLAFIJXA5E Ming Mow

    why is the Philippines is the Poorest country in Asia? coz majority of Filipinos are too dumb to think on their own. they let the media think for them. look at what ABS CBN, GMA7, Inquirer are doing. they feed them lies now they think that Noy NOy is their saviour, Cory their Saint, Ninoy their Hero. forgetting that Noy Noy and Cory murdered innocent farmers in Hacienda Luisita like what Ampatauns did in Mindanao. 

  • Guest

    There are methods being worked right now in the senate and House to prevent much more Philippine Supreme Court injustices from being accomplished.  It is obvious what is happening here.

    But if the government does not begin to act with its head in the sand once again, giving millions of pesos direct to terrorist groups trying their darndest to overthrow the very government of the Philippines who gave them public trust funds for some wayward reason, then GMA will escape, and most likely will be offered the official Philippine President’s Airbus 340-300, Number PR-001 to escape justice in!  (With 200+ of her entourage also escaping justice and prosecution). 

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