MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Francis Escudero on Monday said the Arroyo camp is focusing too much on technicalities when it questioned why the Department of Justice-Commission on Elections (DOJ-Comelec) joint panel investigated alleged fraud in the 2007 polls and then used its findings to file an electoral sabotage case against former President Arroyo.
Escudero said the joint DOJ-Comelec panel was only a fact-finding body that investigated reports of massive fraud in the 2007 senatorial election, particularly in Maguindanao province.
He said it was Comelec alone that deliberated on the existence of probable cause to merit the filing of the case and not the DOJ, which is in accordance with the law.
"Whatever questions GMA/FG may raise against the joint panel is now moot having been overtaken by events and given the 'curative' action, on its own, by the Comelec. Instead of raising technicalities, GMA should take advantage of the opportunity given her to prove her innocence, if indeed she is, and face the charges leveled against her squarely and on the merits," he said.
The Arroyo camp earlier asked the Supreme Court to nullify the proceedings of the joint DOJ-Comelec joint fact-finding Team and preliminary investigation(PI) Committee, which led to the filing of an information for electoral sabotage in court against former president Arroyo.
"Due to the unconstitutionality and unlawfulness of its creation, and due to its absolute lack of authority and jurisdiction, all the acts the Joint Committee has so far performed as well as all proceedings emanating and arising therefrom are equally null and void," the petition read. Report from Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News