Radam: Prosecution needs me vs Abalos | Inquirer News

Radam: Prosecution needs me vs Abalos

Former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

A key witness in the electoral sabotage case against former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. asked the poll body to reconsider its decision not to drop the election sabotage charge against her.

In a 20-page motion for reconsideration, former South Cotabato election supervisor Lilian Radam asked the Comelec to set aside its April 18 resolution, which denied her immunity from suit in exchange for turning state’s evidence.


Radam said that charging her together with Abalos would weaken the case against the former elections chief. She noted that even current Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. had admitted that there was “no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution” of Abalos.


“It is clear (that the Comelec resolution) sets up for failure the prosecution of the electoral sabotage case against accused Benjamin Abalos Sr.,” the petition read.

“Without the crucial testimony of Radam, opposing (Abalos’) petition for bail will be an uphill struggle for the prosecution,” it said.

Despite the Comelec resolution, the Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the Pasay Regional Trial Court to drop Radam as an accused in the electoral sabotage case.

The petition said the Comelec resolution was “a form of harassment  against Radam who had been admitted into the DOJ’s witness protection program (WPP).

Violation of witness rights


It said the resolution “encroached” on the DOJ’s prerogative to admit Radam into the WPP and violated the immunity granted to her when she was admitted into the program.

“By issuing such an order, the rights of the witness protected under the (Witness Protection Program Law) has been violated by the very agency—the Comelec—that used her testimony to indict the other accused in the case,” the petition said.

It added that the Comelec had a “clear obligation” not to include Radam in the 11 criminal informations for electoral sabotage filed before the Pasay court.

The petition said that Radam applied for the WPP to gain immunity from prosecution while the DOJ secured her testimony for the successful prosecution of the electoral sabotage case.

“By virtue of (the April 18 Comelec resolution) which resolved not to file a motion to discharge Radam during the bail hearing, Radam’s immunity from criminal prosecution will be rendered meaningless,” the petition said.

“Certainly, Radam will be discouraged from testifying and in so doing deny the prosecution the much needed evidence to prosecute the electoral sabotage case against those responsible,” it added.

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In ruling against her discharge, the majority of the Comelec commissioners faulted the DOJ for not first seeking Comelec approval for Radam’s admission to the WPP.

TAGS: Comelec, DoJ, Judiciary, Lilian Radam

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