DOJ-Comelec team recommends probe on ex-President Arroyo, others, for alleged poll fraud

October 20, 2011 9:56 pm 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo Jr.

MANILA, Oct. 20 — The Department of Justice-Commission on Elections (DOJ-Comelec) fact-finding team recommended on Thursday the conduct of preliminary investigation on the possible involvement of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and several others in electoral sabotage.

In a press conference, DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima said that the DOJ-Comelec Committee chaired by Prosecutor General Claro Arellano will convene on Monday to discuss the DOJ-Comelec panel recommendations.

The recommendations are in connection with the alleged electoral fraud committed during the 2007 senatorial elections.

De Lima said that aside from Mrs. Arroyo, also recommended for preliminary investigation for the offense of electoral sabotage were former Comelec Chair Benjamin Abalos Sr., former Comelec Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer, former DOJ Secretary Alberto Agra, former Acting Region XII Elections Director Michael Abas;

Former Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Region XI chief Col. Reuben Basiao, former Maguidanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., former Maguindanao Provincial Election Supervisor Lintang Bedol, and former Maguindanao Provincial Administrator Norie Unas.

The DOJ chief said that 19 former election officers were also recommended for preliminary investigation for electoral sabotage.

She added that they were also recommended for preliminary investigation for violation of the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) and other election laws without prejudice to their attendant liability for violation of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices Act, and R.A. 6713 or the Code of Conduct for Public Officials and Employees.

They were also recommended for preliminary investigation for other administrative charges, De Lima said.

However, De Lima said former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo and former Executive Assistant Bong Serrano were recommended for further investigation for alleged electoral sabotage due to lack of evidence. (PNA)

DCT/scs/PTR/utb

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