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SC upheld DOJ-Comelec probe on Arroyo, poll chief says

The Supreme Court has upheld the legality of the joint Department of Justice-Commission on Elections panel that investigated former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for alleged election fraud. Aside from declaring the panel as legal, the high court also junked "for being moot" the appeal earlier filed by the Arroyo camp against the poll fraud case filed against them in connection with the alleged irregularities in the 2007 elections. "I am elated to officially announce that the Supreme Court sustained the constitutionality of the Joint DOJ-COMELEC Committee," said Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on his Twitter account. The Supreme Court, however, has yet to release a copy of the resolution. According to earlier report, the high court said the petition was already moot because the poll sabotage case is already being heard by a Pasay City judge. The Arroyo camp earlier questioned the legality of the joint panel as well as the watch-list order issued by the DOJ against Arroyo and her husband, Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo. Mrs. Arroyo, now a congresswoman, was charged with electoral sabotage along with former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and former Comelec provincial poll supervisor for Maguindanao Lintang Bedol for allegedly rigging polls in southern Mindanao in May 2007 to bring a landslide victory to senatorial candidates allied with Arroyo. Mrs. Arroyo had pleaded not guilty to the charges. — Mark D. Merueñas/KBK, GMA News