Abalos trial on poll sabotage begins today

By Perseus Echeminada, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 10 2013 06:54 AM | Updated as of Jun 10 2013 02:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The trial of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. for two counts of electoral sabotage begins today.

Felda Domingo, spokesperson of Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 112, said Judge Jesus Mupas has set the trial of former president, now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former election officer Lintang Bedol and former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. in the same case on June 25.

The trial was suspended for about a month as the Comelec lawyers attended to their duties in the recent midterm elections.

Domingo said the prosecution is set to present today its first witness, lawyer Yogie Martirizar, a co-accused of Abalos who was admitted as a state witness.

Martirizar, former North Cotabato election officer, was the subject of a Comelec investigation after the May 2007 elections when discrepancies in the votes of senatorial candidates in the province were found.

She, however, went into hiding and surfaced in October 2010 and implicated Abalos, which became the basis for the filing of two counts of electoral sabotage against her and Abalos.