Charge Abalos too, insists Pimentel
Senator Aquilino Pimentel III has urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to include its former chairman, Benjamin Abalos, in the electoral sabotage case it filed against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and others, pointing out that to do otherwise would manifest a “protect your own” culture in the poll agency.
Speaking at the Kapihan sa Diamond Hotel media forum on Monday, Pimentel, chairman of the Senate committee on electoral reforms, said “the Comelec should have filed an electoral sabotage complaint against Abalos two weeks ago.”
The complaint against Arroyo, former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and former Comelec Supervisor Lintang Bedol was filed by the Comelec in the Pasay City Regional Trial Court for the alleged manipulation of the election results in 2007.
“There was only one witness against Arroyo, there were three linking Abalos and still he has no case? Isn’t this a manifestation of a ‘protect your own’ attitude?” Pimentel said.
Pimentel also called on the Comelec-Department of Justice joint panel that investigated Arroyo et al. to widen its net and “include in their investigation those named by [Ahmad] Mamucao.”
Mamucao, a former aide of Ampatuan, testified at the Senate that he and several men had picked up genuine blank election returns and certificates of canvass from a boxing gym that was on a property owned by the family of former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri in Maramag, Bukidnon, for delivery to Cotabato City.
Zubiri at the same hearing denied any connection to any poll irregularity.