MANILA, Philippines - The lawyer of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos has formally withdrawn from the latter's electoral sabotage case.
Atty. Brigido Dulay said this move is in order to spare his client "from the possible negative repercussions that may arise due to the animosity which the Presiding Judge (Jesus Mupas) may have against me as a result of the reversal of his contempt verdict by the Court of Appeals (CA)."
Abalos is facing electoral sabotage charges at the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 112 for alleged vote rigging in North Cotabato during the 2007 midterm elections in favor of the senatorial bets of the Arroyo administration.
Dulay submitted his 2-page withdrawal of appearance Wednesday afternoon.
Mupas cited Dulay in direct contempt after the latter filed a motion for the presiding judge's inhibition.
Dulay had claimed that certain individuals claiming to be Mupas' emissaries tried to extort P100 million from his client.
The appellate court, however, reversed Mupas' order last March 22.
"A judicious review of the records of the instant case show that the... acts do not constitute direct contempt," read a decision of the CA 12th Division.