Arroyo linked to 2007 poll fraud

from NAMFREL Election Monitor Vol.2, No.21

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) presented to the public on October 3 a new set of witnesses in connection with the alleged irregularities that marred the 2007 mid-term elections.

The witnesses served as election officers (EOs) and provincial administrator from Maguindanao during the 2007 elections. Provincial administrator Norie Unas, along with 14 EOs were presented to members of the press.

Unas said that Arroyo hosted a dinner in Malacanang a few days before the elections and allegedly reminded them that it should be a 12-0 vote tally result in Maguindanao province in favor of the senators running under Arroyo’s party. She also said that GMA gave instructions to Andal Ampatuan, Sr. to make sure that all Team Unity senatorial candidates will win at any and all cost, while ensuring as well that then-candidate Alan Peter Cayetano will not get a single vote. The Provincial Election Supervisor at that time was Lintang Bedol, who, according to Unas, was getting instructions from Andal Ampatuan, Sr., one of the henchmen of the Arroyo couple. The election officers executed sworn affidavits saying they did not prepare the election returns (ERs) for the senatorial positions, but were made to sign the documents. They said they only prepared the ERs for the local positions, which was an easy thing to do since local officials ran unopposed.
Former president Arroyo’s camp questioned the merits of presenting the witnesses to the media. They claimed that the current administration orchestrated the poll fraud case to pin Arroyo and her allies.
Abalos’ offer to testify re 2007 poll fraud snubbed

Former COMELEC chairman Benjamin Abalos’ offer to testify as witness in connection with the 2007 election fraud was belittled by DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima and called it a scheme to elude his liability in the alleged election irregularity.

This report came after two witnesses appeared and claimed that Abalos orchestrated the manipulation of the results of the 2007 elections to make sure that all the twelve senators of Team Unity, the political party of then-president Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo will win in Mindanao. The witnesses are Lilian Radam and Yogi Martirizar, former election supervisors of North and South Cotabato, respectively.
Sec. De Lima said that the two witnesses’ claim about Abalos should be taken into serious consideration in the investigation of the fraud. She further said that the former poll body chief should not try to elude the allegations against him by turning himself into a witness and testifying against Radam and Martirizar. Martizar is a former client of Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. The DOJ-COMELEC joint investigative panel, tasked to probe the poll irregularities in 2007, is now looking into the claims of the former election supervisors, De Lima added. The investigation aims to determine if there is probable cause for filing criminal case before the proper courts, and after
gathering substantial facts, the joint panel will then make recommendations as to who will be charged of election offense.
(Various news sources)