Brillantes has more affidavits from potential witnesses

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2011 04:34 PM | Updated as of Sep 22 2011 03:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The chairman of the Commission on Elections has submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ)-Comelec fact-finding team 3 affidavits executed by potential witnesses against individuals who may be held accountable for cheating in the 2007 mid-term elections.

Speaking to ABS-CBN News at the justice department this afternoon, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the justice department and Comelec are focused now on vetting witnesses for the 2007 electoral fraud.

"We're focused now on the 2007 elections, but we are also working on the 2004 elections. You will know in time how things are going," Brillantes said.

Just like Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, Brillantes said he is also vetting personalities who may be tapped as witnesses in the joint investigation.

"These witnesses are as big as the other two [former provincial election supervisors Lilian Radam and Yogie Martirizar]. They include election supervisors," he said.

Radam and Martirizar surfaced recently to implicate former Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos in poll fraud in the 2007 polls. Abalos has denied the allegations.

Brillantes said affidavits submitted to him by potential witnesses will also be evaluated by the fact-finding team.

Meanwhile, the Comelec will name next week the replacement of Atty. Ferdinand Rafanan who was removed from the DOJ-Comelec preliminary investigation committee. Two members of the committee should come from the Comelec, the other 3 from the DOJ.

The committee is chaired by DOJ Prosecutor General Claro Arellano; its members are: Laguna provincial prosecutor George Dee (DOJ), Pasic City prosecutor Jacinto Ang (DOJ), and Atty. Michael Villaret (Comelec).

The preliminary investigation committee will determine the existence of probable cause against individuals implicated in the 2004 and 2007 poll fraud.