Gloria Arroyo may be out on bail, thanks to DOJ-ComelecNot surprising at all that Gloria Arroyo might be out on bail in her electoral sabotage case.
That case was meant to be dismissed.
No amount of lamentations by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes will cover the glaring incompetence in the handling of that case.
This turn of events should make President Aquino re-assess the quality of his legal teams at the Department of Justice and the Commission on Elections.
Gloria Arroyo must be made accountable for the many crimes she has committed against the Filipino people but a strong case must be built against her.
We condemn her perversion of the law to suit her interest when she was in power.To use the same deplorable tactic, even if it is on her, would make the current administration no better than hers and negate the people’s desire for genuine reforms in governance.
Last Thursday , Felda Domingo, spokesperson of Pasay City Regional Trial Court Judge Jesus Mupas, said there is a possibility that the motion for bail will be granted because the complainant in the case, which is the Comelec, had failed to present two key witnesses who were supposed to affirm conspiracy between the accused in allegedly rigging the results of the 2007 elections in Maguindanao.
The accused are Arroyo, former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr., former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., and former Maguindanao Election Supervisor Lintang Bedol .
The two witnesses are former Maguindanao Administrator Norie Unas and Russam Mabang,former election officer of Pandag, Maguindanao.
Comelec lawyer Maria Juana Valesa said they have lost contact with Mabang and Unas, who is under the Witness Protection Program, does not want to appear in court for security reasons.
Since the case involves Ampatuan, it is understandable for the two witnesses to fear for their lives in the wake of the discovery last week of the chopped remains of one of the witnesses in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.
Mabang claimed to have fake election results for Bedol. Unas, on the other hand, claimed that he heard Arroyo, in a dinner in Malacanang a few days before the 2007 elections, telling guests that included Ampatuan Sr for them to make sure that that all the senatorial candidates of Team Unity, her administration’s ticket, must win even if they had to cheat. “Dapat 12-0 sa Maguindanao, kahit pa ayusin o palitan niyo ang resulta.” De Lima said Unas told the DOJ-Comelec panel the instruction of Arroyo to his boss, Ampatuan. As expected, Ampatuan denied this.
Unas said when they returned to Maguindanao, Ampatuan summoned Bedol and told the election supervisor that they should deliver what Arroyo wanted.
Bedol delivered, with a lot of tampering of elections results in favor of TU candidates, particularly for Miguel Zubiri.
Bedol later said that he was promised by Brillantes to be made a state witness if he testified to the cheating and implicated Arroyo. The problem was, he never met Arroyo so his testimony stopped with Ampatuan Sr.
Bedol complained of Brillantes’ non-compliance of their agreement when he was included among those charged with electoral sabotage without bail. Brillantes said the charges against him could be withdrawn if he added more to his testimony. Implicate Arroyo, probably? But Arroyo never talked with Bedol.
The only person that brought Arroyo into the picture was Unas, who was said to be part of the planning and cover-up of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre where 58 persons were killed, 32 of them members of media.
For his cooperation, Unas was not charged for his role in the Maguindanao massacre.
It should be recalled that this electoral sabotage of the 2007 elections was filed hastily on Nov. 18, 2011,three days after Arroyo was stopped from leaving the country on the strength of De Lima’s watch list order .
De Lima said they had information that she was going to seek political asylum in the the Dominican Republic.
At that time, no case was filed against Arroyo in the 18 months of the Aquino administration. Thus, there was no hold departure order from the court.
A warrant of arrest was immediately issued by Mupas on Arroyo, hours after the filing of the 2007 electoral sabotage case. No bail was recommended. Arroyo is currently confined at the V. Luna Medical Center.
If Arroyo is granted bail on this electoral sabotage case, there is no other case filed with the Sandiganbayan that would justify her continued detention.Her case in connection with the NBN/ZTE is violation of the anti-graft law which is bailable.
No charges has been filed against Arroyo for her massive cheating in the 2004 elections (as heard in the Hello Garci tapes).Electoral sabotage is not applicable in the 2004 elections because the law was enacted only in 2007.
A number of plunder cases have been filed with the Ombudsman on the Fertilizer scam, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes anomaly, and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration fund mess but they are still in the preliminary investigation stage.
It’s almost two years of the Aquino administration.No strong case has yet been filed against Arroyo. Who should answer for that failure to the Filipino people?