Pasay RTC judge won’t drop Abalos case | Inquirer News

Pasay RTC judge won’t drop Abalos case

/ 05:07 AM January 26, 2012

Former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. INQUIRER file photo

The Pasay City Regional Trial Court has dismissed the petition of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. for Pasay RTC Judge Jesus Mupas to inhibit himself from handling the electoral sabotage case against Abalos.

This developed as the Comelec filed Wednesday 11 counts of electoral sabotage against Abalos and then provincial elections supervisor Lilia Radam for allegedly rigging the 2007 senatorial election results in South Cotabato.


In a three-page order, Mupas dismissed as mere speculation Abalos’ allegation that emissaries claiming to represent the judge tried to extort from the accused’s counsel in exchange for a favorable resolution.


“This court cannot be easily dissuaded by just a mere speculation on the part of [the] litigant at the expense of the independence and integrity it ought to maintain,” the court said. “Absent any justifiable reason to doubt the independence of this court, its inhibition cannot be sustained.”

Abalos and his lawyer Brigido Dulay linked Mupas to a purported extortion attempt by two persons claiming to represent the judge to ask money in exchange for a ruling favorable to them.

They disclosed the alleged extortion attempt in open court in December. Mupas who was caught off guard then ordered Abalos and his counsel to show cause why they should not be cited in contempt.

Mupas’ court is handling the two counts of electoral sabotage case against Abalos, provincial elections supervisor Yogie Martirizar and military agent Peter Reyes over the supposed manipulation of the 2007 senatorial election results in North Cotabato.

The judge recalled that Abalos and his counsel “tri[ed] to avoid the contempt they were facing” when they expressed doubt on the claims of emissaries, saying they were confident on the court’s impartiality despite the incident.

“Taking into consideration the very words of the accused and his counsel themselves, the presiding judge of this court sees no apparent reason to inhibit from sitting in this case,” Mupas said.


Granting the extortion attempt did occur, Mupas said that Abalos and Dulay should have sought assistance from authorities so those persons could be caught and charged.

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TAGS: Jesus Mupas, Judiciary, Pasay RTC

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