Arroyo trial on poll charge to open next week | Inquirer News
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Arroyo trial on poll charge to open next week

By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 07:50 PM January 24, 2013

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The trial of the electoral sabotage case against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is all set to commence next week.

On Thursday, the Pampanga representative, former Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol, and former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. separately signed the 30-page pretrial order on the electoral sabotage complaints the three of them are facing at the Pasay Regional Trial Court Branch 112.

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The three stand accused of conspiring to manipulate the results of the 2007 senatorial elections to favor Arroyo’s allies.

The signing of the pretrial order signals the trial proper can begin, court spokesperson Felda Domingo explained. “If the accused did not sign it, the trial would have been suspended,” she said.

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The beginning of the trial has been set for Jan. 31.

The pretrial order was served separately on the accused, as Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas ruled earlier that a simultaneous court appearance by the three would pose security problems, Domingo said.

Arroyo was served the pretrial order at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City where she is under hospital arrest on graft charges.

Ampatuan was served the document at the Quezon City Jail Annex in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig where he is currently detained; and Bedol at the detention center in Camp Crame in Quezon City.

The signing was done in the presence of the accused’s counsel, representatives of the complainant Commission on Elections, and the Branch 112 clerk of court.

The pretrial order lists the witnesses, stipulated facts and evidence to be presented during the trial proper “to abbreviate matters and to expedite proceedings,” Domingo said.

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TAGS: election sabotage, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Judiciary, News, Politics
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