Prosecutor claims initial gains in GMA trial
Perseus Echeminada (The Philippine Star) - March 15, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A Commission on Elections (Comelec) prosecutor claimed initial gains yesterday in the trial of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her co-accused former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and former election officer Lintang Bedol.

Comelec lawyer Charlie Lim Yap told reporters after yesterday’s hearing that the testimony of their first witness has strengthened their case of alleged cheating in the province of Maguindanao province during the 2007 midterm elections.

He said Susan Cabanban, former municipal election officer of SK Pendaton town in Maguindanao, testified during direct examination that the alleged cheating in the province was orchestrated by provincial officials.

Not surprisingly, Yap’s statement is contrary to what the defense is saying.

Defense lawyer Ben Santos, legal counsel of Arroyo, said that Cabanban admitted during cross-examination that there was no cheating and that she had no personal knowledge if other people committed fraud.

When asked by Reynaldo Princesa, lawyer of Bedol, if the original results were canvassed, Cabanban said it was the manufactured election results that were submitted to the National Board of Canvassers.

Cabanban also told Judge Jesus Mupas that Norie Unas, former provincial administration of Maguindanao, was present during a meeting on the tasking of Comelec officers to alter election results.

She said they were directed under threat to copy results from tampered election results to a blank return, which were later on authenticated as genuine by the Comelec.

In her earlier testimony, Cabanban claimed that a man from the provincial capital called her and told her that the results of the national elections will be canvassed at the national capitol of the province.

“I did not recognize the voice but out of fear I complied,” she said in Filipino.

Cabanban testified that the separate submission of the local and national results was irregular because these must be canvassed together.

Cabanban was the first among the more than 50 witnesses lined up against the former president and her co-accused in the alleged cheating in the 2007 midterm election.

Judge Mupas set the continuation of the trial on June 27 and July 25.

A COMMISSION ANDAL AMPATUAN SR. BEN SANTOS CABANBAN CHARLIE LIM YAP COMELEC GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO JUDGE JESUS MUPAS JUDGE MUPAS LINTANG BEDOL MAGUINDANAO
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with