Abalos says gov’t only has 2 witnesses related to his case | Inquirer News

Abalos says gov’t only has 2 witnesses related to his case

By: - Reporter / @T2TupasINQ
/ 07:46 PM March 07, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Benjamin Abalos pointed on the inconsistencies of the prosecution’s evidence against him as he told the court that out of the 22 witnesses, the prosecution only has two witnesses that are related to allegations of electoral sabotage.

During Wednesday’s start of the bail hearing, Abalos questioned one of the prosecution’s evidence where the signatures of former South Cotabato provincial election supervisor Lilian Radam and other election officials in Mindanao were allegedly forged to make the election documents legitimate.

“They said their signatures were forged and suddenly they [prosecution] will tell the court that Radam and others were forced to sign blank certificates of canvass. If they signed a blank CoC where is the forgery? This is confusing,” Abalos said.


He added the 12 witnesses of the prosecution who are members of the municipal board of canvassers in Mindanao have no bearing in his case thus he told the court to only allow two of the 22 witnesses of the prosecution.


Even Pasay RTC Branch 117 Judge Eugenio Dela Cruz told the prosecution to trim down its witnesses.

“This is bail hearing. Kumbaga sampling lang ito hindi mahahaba ang storyang ito (This is just sampling. This story won’t be prolonged),” Judge Dela Cruz said.

The prosecution protested to Abalos’ pronouncement that they only have two witnesses related to his case that can testify on the bail hearing.

“It is not for the defense to limit our witnesses,” Comelec Law Department Head Esmeralda Lagra said.

“The defense cannot limit the prosecution’s witnesses but this court can,” Dela Cruz said.

After a long discussion on the list of witnesses that can testify and evidence that Abalos stipulated with the prosecution, Lagra admitted that only two witnesses remain—Radam and former North Cotabato Provincial Election Supervisor Yogie Martirizar.

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TAGS: Comelec, Lilian Radam

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