Comelec Files Electoral Sabotage Case vs Gloria Arroyo

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday, upon recommendation by the joint DOJ-Comelec panel, reportedly voted in favor of filing a resolution of probable cause for electoral sabotage against former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and several others relative to the alleged fraud in the 2007 elections.

Comelec sessionSpeaking to ANC news via phone patch, Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes confirmed it was a 5-2 vote. He and commissioners Elias Yusoph, Rene Sarmiento, Gus Lagman and Robert Lim voted in favor of the filing.

This is interesting because once raps versus Arroyo are filed, several sources say the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the DOJ’s Watch List Order, which was issued by the Supreme Court last Tuesday, will be considered moot and academic.

The probability is that if the case is already filed, which is expected to take place within the day, the court may issue a hold departure order against Arroyo and other respondents.

The High Tribunal, on the other hand, is scheduled to hold a special en banc session at 11 a.m. today.

Court administrator and spokesperson Atty. Midas Marquez told reporters earlier that the 15-member chamber would discuss, among others, petitions filed by the Arroyo camp and the Solicitor General in connection with the TRO which allowed Arroyo to leave the country for medical treatment.

The Comelec decision is believed to affect the outcome of the SC’s decision on the motion for reconsideration filed by the DOJ on the TRO.

Update:

The Comelec has reportedly filed the electoral sabotage case against Arroyo before the Pasay Regional Trial Court. According to ANC, the case has been raffled to Judge Jesus Mupas.

Electoral sabotage, a non-bailable offense, carries a penalty of life imprisonment.