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Special gov’t panel opens probe into 2007 poll rigging

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 05:32 PM November 03, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—A special government panel on Thursday opened its probe into the purported rigging of the results of the 2007 midterm elections in Mindanao.

As expected, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her spouse, Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, were no-shows at the start of the preliminary hearing conducted by the joint panel of the Department of Justice and the Commission on Elections.

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Instead, the lawyers of the former first couple appeared at the proceeding to formally receive the 8-inch thick charge sheet and attachments in connection with  two electoral sabotage cases filed against them.

Of the over 40 personalities charged, only former provincial election supervisors Lintang Bedol, Yogie Martirizar and Lilian Radam attended the preliminary investigation.

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Prosecutor General Claro Arellano, head of the committee, said the joint panel decided to consolidate the two complaints, which had been filed separately by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel and the joint DOJ-Comelec fact-finding team.

“These two complaints arose from the same set of events and circumstances,” Arellano said.

Accompanied by his lawyers, Pimentel personally subscribed to his complaint against Arroyo et al.

“After proving that I was cheated, this is the second part of my quest for justice,” Pimentel said.

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