Press Release
November 4, 2007


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said the failure of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to enforce an order to arrest Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol issued by the Commission on Elections reenforces the suspicion that he is enjoying the protection of powerful political forces.

Pimentel said this also shows once more the inefficiency or helplessness of the police in carrying out its functions, specially in cases involving influential or controversial personalities.

The warrant for arrest was issued by Comelec on Oct. 23 after turning down Bedol's appeal to reverse a previous decision of the poll body in which he was pronounced guilty of indirect contempt and sentenced to six months' imprisonment.

The contempt case stemmed from Bedol's failure to heed the Comelec's summons to appear during hearings on missing municipal certificates of canvass from 22 towns in Maguindanao that would affect the outcome of the May 13 senatorial elections.

In reply to media's query on whether the Arroyo government had a hand in Bedol's disappearance, Pimentel said, "Your guess is as good as mine. Bedol has apparently gone into hiding. Whether or not Gloria has a hand in it, only God knows."

Pimentel had previously accused the Comelec of giving Bedol a kid's glove treatment for not making a no-nonsense investigation of his alleged involvement in the fabrication of COCs and other documents from Maguindanao. The tampered COCs enabled Team Unity candidate Juan Miguel Zubiri to overtake Genuine Opposition bet Koko Pimentel III in the race for the 12th senatorial slot.

Pimentel dared the Comelec and PNP to exhaust all efforts to track down Bedol to prevent another fiasco from further eroding public trust in the electoral and law enforcement system in the country.

"What is certain is that the Comelec cannot implement its order to jail Bedol even for six short months. Is this how inutile the Comelec has become."

News Latest News Feed