MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) - The Commission on Elections has voted 5-2 to file electoral sabotage raps against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Comelec Commissioner Augusto Lagman confirmed Friday.
Lagman said 5 Comelec Commissioners voted in favor of filing electoral sabotage charges against Arroyo. They are Lagman, Sixto Brillantes, Elias Yusoph, Rene Sarmiento and Christian Lim.
Two commissioners, Lucenito Tagle and Armando Velasco, did not vote.
Speaking to ANC, Velasco said he took no part in the vote "because I am not ready to decide on the merits of the case."
"I take no part. Ilabas na lang natin ang reso for purposes of clarification," he said.
Velasco said a joint Department of Justice-Comelec panel investigating alleged fraud in the 2007 polls had recommended the filing of electoral sabotage charges against Arroyo, former Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos, Comelec election supervisor Lintang Bedol, former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and many others.
He said the electoral sabotage raps against Arroyo et al could be filed before a regional trial court anytime as a result of the Comelec vote.
The Comelec vote came ahead of a Supreme Court special en banc session that would tackle a motion for reconsideration against an SC-issued stay order on the justice department's watchlist order against the Arroyos.