Gloria Arroyo lawyer claims witness is lying | Inquirer News
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POLL SABOTAGE CASE

Gloria Arroyo lawyer claims witness is lying

By: - Reporter / @cynchdbINQ
/ 02:26 AM June 16, 2012

Former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was not bothered at all by the testimony of former Maguindanao administrator Norie Unas who pinned her down in the election sabotage case before a Pasay Regional Trial Court, her legal spokesperson Raul Lambino said on Friday.

In a press conference, Lambino said Arroyo fully understood that Unas did so only to gain immunity from suit because he had been implicated in several cases during her administration, including the Maguindanao massacre and the poll cheating in Maguindanao.

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“She expected it, she ’s not worried.  We know that Unas is telling a lie,” Lambino said.

Lambino said Unas was the lone witness that supposedly links the former president to the case.

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Unas, a former close aide of former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., claimed to have overheard Arroyo order his former boss during a Lakas party meeting in Malacañang to ensure a 12-0 victory for Team Unity senatorial candidates in Maguindanao two weeks prior to the May 2007 elections.

During his direct examination in the bail hearings, Unas said he was afraid that he would be charged with poll cheating as his name was being prominently mentioned by Lintang Bedol and two other election officers as one of those behind the cheating operation.

Unas repeated the same statement during his cross examination.

Lambino said that lawyer Siegfried Fortun, counsel for Ampatuan, was able to elicit an admission from Unas that he wanted to escape prosecution from several cases lined up against him, including his involvement in the Maguindanao massacre.

Lambino also pointed out that Unas indicated as a condition to his executing an affidavit on Oct. 3, 2011 that he be given immunity from criminal prosecution and be admitted to the Witness Protection Program (WPP).

During the court hearing, Lambino said it was also established that Unas was admitted to the WPP for merely 90 days and that his application for an extension of the coverage was not approved.

Despite his admission of direct participation in poll cheating, Lambino said that Unas was not charged by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) but was instead placed under the  custody of Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes while Comelec prosecutors clarified that Unas was just an “ordinary witness.”

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“Unas is being pointed by all election officers presented by the Commission on Elections in the bail petitions filed by Arroyo, Ampatuan and Bedol as having a direct participation in poll cheating in Maguindano in the 2007 senatorial elections,” he said.

“It has been widely suspected that his testimony to link the former president was a way in order for him to escape prosecution from the electoral sabotage case and his alleged participation in the gruesome Maguindanao massacre where he is being pointed as having a direct hand in the coverup of the case,” he added.

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TAGS: election sabotage case, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Maguindanao massacre, Nori Unas, Raul Lambino
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