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Court resets Abalos' pre-trial on poll case to November


A Pasay City court on Monday reset to November 19 the pre-trial conference on the electoral sabotage case filed against former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos in connection with the alleged irregularities in the 2007 elections.   According to a report on GMA News TV’s "News To  Go," the court wanted to resolve first the motion for reconsideration filed by the Comelec on the bail granted to Abalos, whose co-accused included former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr.   The report said Abalos needed to submit first an affidavit answering the Comelec’s motion.   The court reportedly said the Comelec did not present new evidence or argument to counter the bail grant, but it cannot act on the motion yet until it receives a reply from Abalos. Electoral sabotage was supposed to be a non-bailable offense.   Last month, Pasay City court branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas allowed Abalos to post a P1-million bail. However, a hold departure order was issued against him, effectively barring him from going abroad while he is out on bail.   Last July, Judge Mupas also allowed Arroyo, an incumbent congresswoman representing Pampanga's second district, to post bail.   Arroyo, Abalos and Ampatuan are facing electoral sabotage charges for allegedly delivering a 12-0 victory for senatorial candidates running under the Arroyo administration party during the 2007 elections. — Amita O. Legaspi/KBK, GMA News