MANILA, Philippines - The summonses for former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr. and former Maguindanao provincial election supervisor Lintang Bedol to appear before the joint Department of Justice (DOJ)-Commission on Elections(Comelec) poll fraud investigating panel were served in their respective detention facilities Wednesday.
The summonses are in connection with a recommendation of the joint DOJ-Comelec Fact-finding Team for them and several others, including former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, to undergo preliminary investigation proceedings on charges of electoral sabotage for alleged conspiracy in rigging the 2007 midterm elections.
Ampatuan was served in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig where he is being detained as an accused in the gruesome November 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre case. Bedol was served at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame where he is serving a 6-month sentence for contempt for ignoring the Comelec's probe into alleged irregularities in the 2007 elections, illegally assuming and losing custody of election documents and publicly challenging his superiors to file charges against him.
According to the joint fact-finding team's 81-page report dated October 20, 2011 and submitted to the joint preliminary investigation committee, Ampatuan Sr. connived with then president Arroyo "in the manipulation of the results of the senatorial elections, by giving direct orders to Atty. Lintang Bedol, Engr. Norie Unas(then Maguindanao provincial administrator), and other municipal officials to implement, at all costs, in his province GMA's(Mrs. Arroyo) 12-0 instruction" to ensure the victory of the administration's senatorial bets.
Bedol was being charged "for manipulating the results of elections in Maguindanao in order to implement GMA's instruction." The report -- which is now considered a formal complaint -- enumerated the following alleged acts committed by Bedol:
-conducting frequent meetings with election officers(EO) of Maguindanao to ensure that the aforesaid instruction is successfully carried out;
- requiring all EOs to submit to him all accountable election documents which he subsequently declared as stolen; and
- canvassing the Certificates of Canvass(COC) of the Municipalities of Guindulungan and Buluan despite knowledge that they were tampered with to comply with the directive of zero votes for 3 [opposition] senatorial candidates.
Other respondents include former Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos, Jr., former Comelec commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer, former Secretary of Justice Alberto Agra, officers of the Intelligence Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines(ISAFP), and several EOs and PES.
A separate complaint, also for electoral sabotage, filed by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III names former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo, former Arroyo political adviser Gabriel Claudio, and several others as respondents. Mrs. Arroyo was also listed as respondent in Pimentel's complaint.
The summonses for Mr. and Mrs. Arroyo, and the other respondents were served on Tuesday.
The first preliminary investigation hearing is set on November 3. Respondents may personally appear before the investigating panel or opt to send their lawyers.