Ex-FG Mike Arroyo asks SC to void DOJ-Comelec fact-finding panel

November 11, 2011 10:34 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 11 – Former First Gentleman Atty. Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo on Friday filed a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking to nullify Department of Justice-Commission on Elections (DOJ-Comelec) Joint Order No. 001 creating the DOJ-Comelec fact-finding team and preliminary investigation panel.

The DOJ-Comelec joint panel was mandated to conduct the investigation into the electoral sabotage charges filed against former President and now Pampanga (2nd District) Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband, and 37 others for their alleged involvement in the manipulation of the elections results during the 2007 senatorial elections.

In a 65-page petition for certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for a temporary restraining order (TRO) filed by Arroyo, through his legal counsel Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, he argued that the creation of the DOJ-Comelec fact-finding team is unconstitutional.

Topacio said that the independence of the Comelec, which is an independent Constitutional body, is being compromised, because of the investigation being conducted by the DOJ-Comelec preliminary investigation panel.

He added that the DOJ-Comelec joint panel has no jurisdiction to conduct the investigation into the alleged electoral offenses committed by his clients.

Aside from these, Topacio said, the "double jeopardy" principle is being violated such that an electoral sabotage case has already been filed by Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III before the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) against the other respondents.

He said that the same electoral sabotage case is now being heard by the DOJ-Comelec fact-finding team. (PNA)

RMA/PTR/utb

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