SC hears oral arguments on DOJ-Comelec panel vs. Arroyo case on Tuesday

November 28, 2011 11:02 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 28 – The Supreme Court (SC) will hear on Tuesday the oral arguments on the electoral sabotage case filed by the joint Department of Justice (DOJ)-Commission on Elections (Comelec) panel against former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The oral arguments will be held at 2 p.m. at the New Session Hall of the New SC Building in Ermita, Manila.

It can be recalled that Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas issued an arrest warrant against the former president after the electoral sabotage case was filed on November 18, 2011.

Petitioners Arroyo and former Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr., through their counsels, and the respondents DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima et al. were given a maximum of 20 minutes each to present their respective arguments. They were also directed to limit their respective discussion on the following issues:

— Whether or not the Joint Order No. 001-2011 “Creating and Constituting a Joint DOJ-Comelec Preliminary Investigation Committee and Fact-Finding Team on the 2004 and 2007 National Elections Electoral Fraud and Manipulation Cases” is constitutional in light of the following:

— The due process clause of the 1987 Constitution; The equal protection clause of the 1987 Constitution; The principle of separation of powers; The independence of the Comelec as a constitutional body.

— Whether or not the Comelec has jurisdiction under the law to conduct preliminary investigation jointly with the DOJ;

— Whether or not due process was observed by the Joint DOJ-Comelec Fact-Finding Team and Preliminary Investigation Committee, and the Comelec in the conduct of the preliminary investigation and approval of the Joint Panel’s Resolution.

The time allotted for the counsels to argue and counter-argue shall be exclusive of the time devoted to interpellation by the justices of the SC. (PNA)

DCT/scs/PTR/ssc

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