SC upholds panel that filed poll sabotage case vs Arroyo-A A +A
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
MANILA -- The Supreme Court confirmed Tuesday that the justices backed the constitutionality of the panel that probed and filed an electoral sabotage case against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The panel is constituted of representatives from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
"It's confirmed. We will be uploading a soft copy of decision to the SC website," SC acting spokesperson Gleo Guerra said in a text message to Sun.Star.
Earlier, a Court source said the justices noted they can no longer nullify the charges filed by the panel since Arroyo had already pleaded not guilty to the case in February.
In fact, Arroyo now enjoys temporary freedom after Judge Jesus Mupas of the Pasay City Regional Trial Court branch 112 granted her request to post bail on account that the prosecution failed to present corroborative evidence to pin down Arroyo for poll fraud.
"The SC decision finally cast aside all doubts regarding the validity and the legality of the joint investigation made by the Comelec and the DOJ," Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said on Twitter.
The joint investigating panel wrapped up its preliminary investigation in November 14 last year even as Arroyo and husband Jose Miguel failed to submit their counter-affidavits on accusations that they manipulated the senatorial election results in Maguindanao in 2007.
Four days later, the poll body adopted the recommendations of the panel and requested Mupas to issue a hold departure order against the former president, who was cleared by the Supreme Court to travel abroad.
But Mupas issued a warrant of arrest instead, and this superseded the High Court's affirmation of suspending the travel ban on the Arroyos.
Last year, Court Administrator Midas Marquez said the Court may still void the filing of the criminal complaint against Arroyo if the fact-finding panel will be declared illegal and unconstitutional. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)