Comelec on Abalos: We tried but failed
MANILA, Philippines–The Commission on Elections (Comelec) expressed disappointment over the Pasay Regional Trial Court decision acquitting its former chair, Benjamin Abalos, of electoral sabotage in a case filed in 2012.
“Of course we feel sad, we worked hard on that,” said current Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes in an interview with reporters.
Brillantes said the poll agency did not expect the ruling because of the strong evidence and numerous witnesses it presented in court.
“We did not expect such a ruling. We presented several witnesses. While Abalos, he was the only one who testified, yet it was him the court believed,” Brillantes said.
Abalos was accused of conniving with Cotabato provincial election supervisor Lilian Suan-Radam to ensure a 12-0 win for the Senate candidates of the then Arroyo administration’s Team Unity by tampering with the provincial certificates of canvass, among other things.
On Thursday, the Pasay court acquitted Abalos, saying the prosecution had failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Brillantes said the Comelec may not appeal the case but hinted that it would look into the possibility Judge Eugenio de la Cruz had committed “grave abuse.”–Tina G. Santos