THE Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) second division has ordered security officials inside the poll body's office to arrest nuisance candidate Elly Pamatong on Wednesday morning.
Before the promulgation hearing of the disqualification cases filed against ousted President Joseph “Erap” Estrada and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Pamatong made a scene during the proceedings telling the commissioners of the second division that they are all thieves.
When the consolidated cases of lawyer Evillo Pormento and Marilou Estrada against Erap were called by the commission, Pamatong stood up and approached the microphone stand yelling repeatedly to the commissioners: "I am leaving because you are all magnanakaw (thieves). I have no respect for this commission. Magnanakaw kayong lahat (You are all thieves)."
The second division composes of commissioners Lucenito Tagle, Elias Yusoph and Nicodemo Ferrer.
Yusoph and presiding commissioner Ferrer immediately ordered the arrest of Pamatong for direct contempt just as he was about to exit the Session Hall where the hearing was held.
“The direct contempt is where the respondent, by behavior, like that exhibited by Atty. Pamatong disrupted the proceedings and that's what happened and to our embarrassment because some of the officials who were present were prominent...if we don't do anything, no one will respect us anymore,” Ferrer told reporters after the hearing.
Aside from Erap who personally attended the hearing, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, senatorial bet Jose de Venecia III, Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile and FPJ Movement For Peace & Democracy (FPJMTD) President Rez Cortes were also in the venue.
Pamatong was brought to the Manila City jail where he faces a 10-day imprisonment as penalty for his act.
“Because we don't have room to hold him in confinement, we directed that he be brought to the Manila City jail for confinement for 10 days. (That is) unbailable and unprobationable,” said Ferrer.
Ferrer added that Pamatong's act was "unforgiveable" so they had to teach him a lesson.
Comelec earlier declared Pamatong as a nuisance candidate. Pamatong also ran in the 2004 presidential elections.
Pamatong, on Monday, accused Comelec chair Jose Melo and the six commissioners under him of criminal charges.
He filed three counts of criminal charges, ranging from bribery to obstruction of justice, against the Comelec officials at the Prosecutor's Office in Manila.
The disqualified presidential candidate alleged that Melo and the commissioners accepted five million pesos each from Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) bet Vetellano Acosta through former Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) president Vicente Millora.
“Acosta, who was disqualified by the Comelec as nuisance candidate was adopted by Millora and Opinion as standard bearer for the KBP after Acosta approached them and offered to pay millions as consideration for making him the official presidential candidate for KBL,” said Pamatong in a press statement.
Comelec has approved the bid of Acosta after receiving a nomination from the KBL party.
Pamatong said he might have to apply for a witness protection program on behalf of his witnesses who are working inside the Comelec. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)