CA orders PAO to assist Bedol in electoral sabotage case
The Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) to assist former provincial election officer Lintang Bedol in his electoral sabotage case.
Bedol was an election supervisor in Maguindanao during the 2007 midterm elections. He, together with former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan, was accused of manipulating the poll results to get 12-0 votes for Team Unity, the senatorial candidates of Ms. Arroyo.
The appeals court said Bedol, who according to the Office of the Solicitor-General is detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center, has unclaimed copies of documents regarding his case.
His lawyer, Reynaldo Princesa, according to the court, could not be properly notified because of a possible change of address.
“While it appears that private respondent Atty. Bedol is represented by counsel, the latter cannot be properly notified by the court as he has already moved out of his address. [He] also has failed to file a comment by and for himself despite notice sent to him through the chief of the PNP Custodial Center,” the appeals court said.
“Under the circumstances, we deem it proper to direct the [PAO] to represent the herein private respondent Atty. Bedol and to formally enter its appearance and to file the required comment within twenty (20) days from notice,” it added.
The decision was written by Associate Justice Elihu Ybanez and concurred in by Associate Justices Magdangal de Leon and Victoria Isabel Paredes. RC/ rga
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