Pasay RTC defers Abalos arraignment to March 5
The Pasay City Regional Trial Court has postponed the arraignment of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos to March 5 after his lawyer sought to have the charges of electoral sabotage dismissed.
Judge Eugenio de la Cruz of RTC Branch 117 gave Comelec prosecutors 10 days to comment on Abalos’ pleading which his lawyer Brigido Dulay, filed on Friday. Abalos has argued that the case against him was without basis.
“This motion to quash is effectively a call to dismiss the charges because it is baseless,” Dulay explained to reporters, adding that if it had any merit, the case “should have been filed before the Sandiganbayan, not in the regional trial court.”
After prosecutors filed their comment on Abalos’ pleading, De la Cruz told Dulay to submit their own comment before the judge resolved the matter.
Abalos is charged with 11 counts of electoral sabotage for allegedly manipulating the election results in South Cotabato, together with provincial election supervisor Lilian Radam, in 2007.
Abalos purportedly ordered Radam to tamper with the votes cast for administration senatorial bets Joker Arroyo, Edgardo Angara, Ralph Recto, Mike Defensor, Prospero Pichay Jr.,Vincente Sotto III, Vicente Magsaysay, Tessie Aquino-Oreta, Juan Miguel Zubiri and Luis Singson, and for opposition candidate Loren Legarda.
Abalos is also facing another electoral sabotage case at Pasay City RTC branch 112.
In Mandaluyong City, Mayor Benhur Abalos reiterated his appeal for house arrest for his father, saying that the latter was old and had hypertension.
A brief tribute video to Abalos, a former mayor of the city, shown Monday during Benhur’s state of the city address, made city hall employees and residents cry.
Employees, residents and members of Abalos’ family near the stage of the Mandaluyong gymnasium were seen wiping tears while the video clip was being played. With reports from Niña Calleja and Tetch Torres, INQUIRER.net
Originally posted: 1:57 pm | Monday, February 6th, 2012
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