MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/19 July) — Aside from the affidavit of former Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol, three other supposed election officials from the same province gave their own affidavits to the Commission on Elections on alleged irregularities in the 2004 and 2007 elections, Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. today announced.
But Brillantes, who made the announcement on ANC after a Comelec en banc meeting today, said they will have to verify whether the witnesses are really election officials, adding he was yet to read their affidavits.
He said the affidavits were notarized in Quezon City.
He also said Bedol had brought other documents but that he still did not know what those documents are.
Asked if he would inhibit himself from the investigation on the alleged poll irregularities since he served as counsel for 2004 presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr., Brillantes said his decision would depend on Bedol’s statements.
He noted though that Bedol’s affidavit focused more on the 2007 senatorial elections.
The Comelec chair said the statements of Bedol and of the other witnesses will serve as basis of who may possibly face criminal charges for the alleged election anomalies.
He, however, acknowledged that even if it would be proven that Poe had won over Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo it would no longer matter as the term of office had lapsed, aside from the fact that the actor turned politician is already dead.
He said knowing the real winner in 2004 will only be for the purpose of correcting the records of history.
Brillantes also said that the prescription period for electoral cases involving national positions is five years. But he clarified that if charges have been filed beforehand, prescription won’t apply and the charges may still be pursued. (MindaNews)