MANILA, Philippines – Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos is contemplating filing charges against Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for “harboring fugitives."
“I am just trying to collate all the evidence at titingnan ko if the evidence so warrant, I will file a case against our secretary of justice for harboring fugitives from justice,” Abalos said in an interview with radio dzMM on Saturday.
Abalos was referring whistleblowers former provincial election supervisors Lilian Radam and Yogie Martirizar, who accused the former COMELEC chief of having a direct hand in fraudulent elections in 2007.
“Hindi ko maintindihan what is happening. Itong dalawang ito ang sa ngayon ay inamin nilang nagkasala sila, inamin nilang tumanggap sila ng pera. Itong mga taong apat na taon nang pinaghahanap,” said Abalos.
Abalos said that of the 15 warrants of arrest against the two, 12 are non-bailable. “At ngayon, ituturo pa lamang si Abalos, iimbistigahan pa lamang ay para bang mga heroes na, mga bayani na,” he said.
Radam, who served as South Cotabato acting provincial election supervisor in 2007, and Martirizar, her counterpart in North Cotabato, have been placed under the government's Witness Protection Program, while authorities are evaluating their testimonies.
“Nananawagan din ako sa atin huwes. Sana tawagan lamang ng pansin. Palinawagan sila why they should not be cited for contempt,” he said.
It is the responsibility of the person in custody of an individual with warrant of arrest to bring the latter to the court.
“Ang husgado ang magbibigay ng commitment order kung saan ito ikukulong. Remember, no bail ito. Walang piyansa sa 12 kaso. At pagkatapos, saka ka mag file ng petition kung gustong gamitin nila testigo mo o ipadala sa ospital. Mag-file ka ng petition sa husgado,” he said.
He added, “Magiging bale-wala ang ginagawa ng Comelec sa ginawa ng Department of Justice at sinasabing credible daw at kapani-paniwala daw yung 2."
He said De Lima should know this, being the secretary of justice.
“Kung hindi mo alam yan, wala kang karapatang manatili dyan sa Department of Justice. At kung alam mo naman, lalong masama yan. Binabale-wala mo lang ang ating proseso,” he said.