Abalos bracing for arrest any time
Former Commission on Elections Chair Benjamin Abalos Sr. said he has been anticipating that the Pasay Regional Trial Court might order his arrest any time and has, thus, been eating a lot lately.
“Baka walang pagkain doon e (There could be no food there),” Abalos said in jest, knowing that in a few days the court would decide on his motion for judicial determination of probable cause.
In his motion, he asked the court to review the purported evidence the prosecution had submitted before deciding on whether or not he should be arrested.
To drum up support from the public, Abalos said he had begun going around and telling everyone his side of the story.
“This is stressful and terrible… more than a physical torture. One simple case will put you behind bars Now, there’s 13 more cases to be filed against me. What is difficult is if the court would not allow me to bail myself out and I have to spend time in jail even if the case is still pending,” Abalos, 77, said Friday at a forum in Rembrandt Hotel in Quezon City.
Earlier reports said Abalos might face a total of 14 charges of election sabotage before the salas of Judge Edwin Ramizon of RTC Branch 114 and Judge Jesus Mupas of Branch 112.
“Wag naman (I hope not). Look at my family,” he said.
He called the move of the Comelec and the Department of Justice as “political prosecution” and pointed to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who lawyered for Sen. Koko Pimentel in 2007, as possibly behind it.
“I don’t know if she has a grudge on me. But I don’t begrudge anybody,” he added.
But he recalled that when he was still Comelec chair, a commissioner shouted at De Lima and threatened her with contempt after the latter refused to rest her arguments in one session.
He said he was still perplexed at how he got involved in the election sabotage case. “It took them more than a year to have courage, or it took (the government) more than a year to convince this group to fire their guns at me,” he added.
On Wednesday, the Comelec filed two counts of electoral sabotage against Abalos and former provincial election supervisors Yogie Martizar and Lilian Suan-Radam, and Capt. Peter Reyes of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The two election supervisors claimed Abalos engineered the 12-0 victory of the Arroyo administration’s senatorial bets in Mindanao in the 2007 mid-term elections.
But Abalos believed the accusations had no bases and could not convict him.
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