Arrest warrant issued vs. Abalos counsel

By Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 09 2012 11:36 AM | Updated as of Jan 10 2012 12:36 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A warrant of arrest has been issued against Brigido Dulay, the lawyer of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos.

Dulay was slapped with contempt of court by Pasay City regional trial court Judge Jesus Mupas, following allegations of extortion against the judge.

Last month, Abalos asked Mupas to inhibit from his electoral sabotage case due to extortion allegations.

According to Comelec lawyer Maria Juana Valesa, Abalos alleged that a female lawyer connected to Mupas asked P100 million from the ex-poll chief in exchange for fixing his case in the RTC. Abalos even presented witnesses to prove the extortion claim.

Instead of inhibiting from the case, Mupas ordered Abalos and his lawyer to show cause or they would be cited in contempt.

Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos, Abalos' son, said his father wants Mupas to inhibit in the case "on the grounds that there is a certain belief on our part that we cannot get impartial justice in his court."

He said alleged emissaries from Mupas approached them in a hotel. He said they are still asking for CCTV footage from the hotel to prove that the extortion try occurred.

Abalos was arrested earlier this week after being charged with electoral sabotage in the 2007 midterm elections.

The former Comelec chair on Thursday complained of stomach pain. His doctor said Abalos was stressed because of the condition inside his cell in Southern Police District.