Abalos: Why glamorize poll cheats?

By Ira P. Pedrasa, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Sep 20 2011 01:20 PM | Updated as of Sep 21 2011 03:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin S. Abalos is wondering why the government is “glamorizing” the so-called whistleblowers who dragged his name anew in the allegedly fraudulent 2007 elections.

In an interview with ANC, Abalos said: “I don’t know why we have to glamorize these people. They’re practically being hailed as heroes.”

Former provincial election supervisors Lilian Radam and Yogie Martirizar accused Abalos of having a direct hand in the 12-0 sweep of Arroyo allies in the 2007 elections in some areas in Mindanao.

Abalos noted that he, in fact, had initiated the filing of several charges of election sabotage against the 2. Radam, in particular, is facing 12 counts, he said.

He noted that during the canvassing of the 2007 polls, he himself noticed the discrepancies in the areas covered by the 2 election officers.

He also said he was the officer-in-charge in the Cordillera region and as such, could not have handled the Mindanao region.

He said the 2 suddenly “disappeared.” On June 2 that year, he said he ordered them relieved from their posts.

Senator Aquilino Pimentel III also subsequently filed charges against the 2. “We consolidated that with our investigation…on January 8 (2008), I directed the filing of charges [in court],” Abalos stressed.

“Here are the witnesses facing charges with no bail. I don’t know why they have not been surrendered in court,” he said.

As a former judge, Abalos said he knows that the person holding the 2 should first surrender them in court before asking for their custody.

“I don’t know their motives. What is clear is that these people are facing charges and are now being glamorized,” he said.