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(Updated Feb. 7) - Security was tight at a Pasay City court on Monday morning for the arraignment of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos, who was charged with electoral sabotage in the 2007 elections. Personnel from the Pasay City police and the Southern Police District (SPD) secured the Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 117, radio dzBB's Sam Nielsen reported. The arraignment, however, was delayed after the court ordered the Comelec to comment on Abalos' motion questioning the court's jurisdiction over his case.
Abalos had lodged a motion questioning the Pasay City court's jurisdiction over the electoral sabotage case lodged against him, radio dzBB reported.
The report said the court gave the Comelec 10 days to comment on Abalos' motion.
On the other hand, the report said Abalos became emotional when he faced his former subordinates at the Comelec.Abalos has been detained at the SPD headquarters in Taguig City since December last year. Abalos and former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had been ordered arrested by Pasay Judge Jesus Mupas for electoral sabotage. Arroyo has been under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) since December last year. She was ordered arrested on November 18 last year while she was confined at the St. Luke's Medical Center (SLMC) for a bone problem. She had three major surgeries last year. She was transferred to VMMC on December 9. On Friday last week, the court heard arguments related to motions by Arroyo's camp to let her attend the wake of her brother-in-law, the late Rep. Ignacio "Iggy" Arroyo Jr.; and a motion by the Comelec to transfer Arroyo to a regular jail. - VVP/KG, GMA News