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MANILA, Philippines – Four prosecutors from the Department of Justice (DOJ) have been assigned to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to assist in the poll fraud case against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima deputized the following DOJ prosecutors who will work with the Comelec prosecution team on the high-profile case:
- Assistant Prosecutor Mari Elvira Herrera
- Assistant City Prosecutor Orlando Mariano
- Associate prosecution Attorney Gerard Gaerlan
- Associate Prosecution Attorney Mark Roland Estepa
This new assignment was prompted by a Comelec en banc Resolution No. 9333 promulgated last January 18, 2012, authorizing her to designate DOJ prosecutors to assist the Comelec prosecution team in the prosecution of electoral sabotage cases filed against Mrs. Arroyo, former Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos, Sr., and Andal Ampatuan Sr., among others.
In the same resolution, the Comelec also noted that without the assistance of provincial and city fiscals and their assistants and staff members, as well as the state prosecutors of the DOJ, the prompt and fair investigation and prosecution of election offenses committed before or in the course of nationwide elections would not be possible.
The Comelec also recognized that it does not have enough legal officers to conduct investigation and prosecute such cases given the magnitude of the workload involved in the poll fraud case. – Rappler.com