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A former North Cotabato election supervisor testified on Wednesday that she was threatened and forced to sign fake documents during the 2007 senatorial polls.
Prosecution witness Yogie Martirizar told Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 112 that she was coerced into signing the fake Provincial Certificate of Canvass (PCOC) by men supposedly sent by ex-Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr.
Election documents she signed would replace the ones that were about to be brought to Manila where the national canvassing was held, Martirizar told the court, which was hearing the petition requesting bail for Abalos.
Although Abalos is charged with election sabotage, a non-bailable offense, he could be freed on bail if the prosecution fails to offer evidence of conspiracy.
"Ang tigas ng ulo mo. Maaga pa pinapainit mo na ang ulo," Martirizar said, citing a phone conversation she had with Abalos. The ex-poll chief threatened to fire her and file criminal charges, she added.
During her testimony, Martirizar narrated that three men whom she was unable to identify barged into her office last May 23, 2007 and told her to sign the documents they brought, which she added were already filled up with election results of North Cotabato.
When she refused, one of the men, Martirizar said called up someone on his cellular phone and handed it to her.
She said it was Abalos who was on the other end of the line who threatened her into signing the documents which she described as exact copies of genuine PCOCs.
In her testimony last week, Martirizar told the court that Abalos ordered election supervisors in Mindanao to ensure the 12-0 win of the Team Unity senatorial candidates of former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
However, Abalos denied Martirizar’s allegations, saying he did not even know her.
He also faces 11 counts of electoral sabotages charges (for alleged irregularities in the same election in the province of Maguindanao) before the sala of Pasay City RTC Branch 117 Presiding Judge Eugenio dela Cruz.
Dela Cruz granted Abalos' bail petition but he continues to be detained since Judge Jesus Mupas of Branch 112 has yet to rule on a separate petition. InterAksyon.com