Comelec to file motion against Arroyo bail
Comelec will oppose order allowing GMA to post bail in election case 'tomorrow morning, at the latest'

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) gave assurance that they will file an opposition to the order allowing former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to post bail in her election case “tomorrow morning, at the latest.” 

Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said on Wednesday, July 25, that they will file a motion for reconsideration and discuss the evidences that they have presented. “We will point out that our evidences are not weak, and we’ll convince the judge that he might change his mind,” Brillantes said.

A Pasay City court earlier granted Arroyo’s motion for bail in an election sabotage case filed against her in November 2011, saying the evidence presented by the Commission on Elections was weak. Arroyo’s lawyers posted bail on her behalf.

Arroyo was charged with “electoral sabotage”, a crime punishable with life in jail, for allegedly conspiring with a feared political warlord to rig the 2007 senatorial elections.

The case filed by the poll body against Mrs Arroyo has been criticized as weak, with defense lawyers pointing out that the star witness, Norie Unas, does not have personal knowledge of Mrs Arroyo’s alleged crime.

Unas, former provincial administrator of Maguindanao province, testified that Mrs Arroyo instructed his former superior, former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr, to rig the 2007 elections.

Brillantes said it was Ampatuan, not Arroyo herself, who rebutted Unas’ statement via an affidavit. He added that such affidavit is not admissible in court unless Ampatuan undergoes cross examination.

“Everything really depends on the judge. We’ll never know what will happen. I don’t understand why this happened, but let’s leave it up to him,” Brillantes said.

Brillantes expressed relief, however, over the fact that the bail order on this case does not entirely free Arroyo. A Sandiganbayan hold departure order (HDO), issued on July 24 in connection with a plunder case filed against her last week by the Ombudsman, still bars her from leaving the country. –

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