Cotabato mayor: Bedol is innocent, blame his Comelec bosses

By Charlie Sease
Mindanao Bureau
Last updated 06:43am (Mla time) 08/09/2007

COTABATO CITY — Mayor Muslimin Sema said the burden of proving Maguindanao Election Supervisor Lintang Bedol’s guilt lay on his immediate superiors who had purportedly committed crimes of their own.

 

“Bedol is innocent. His mistakes, if [any], were nothing compared to the intentional crimes consciously committed by his bosses [who are now accusing him],” Sema told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, parent company of INQUIRER.net.

 

Citing an example, the mayor, a former rebel commander and secretary general of the Moro National Liberation Front, assailed the decision of the Commission on Elections en banc to lump Cotabato City with Shariff Kabunsuan to produce one congressional district following the latter’s creation as a new province in November 2006 through a regional law.

 

He said the move was “unconstitutional and stupid” because “as lawyers, [the commissioners] knew that there are two separate and distinct districts by law and through Comelec Resolution No. 7845.”

 

6 commissioners

 

Asked to name Bedol’s bosses who had supposedly committed a worse crime, Sema said: “The commissioners who signed Comelec Resolution No. 7845 promulgated on March 29, and another Resolution No. 7902 promulgated on May 10.”

 

He said all six commissioners — Chair Benjamin Abalos Sr., and Rene Sarmiento, Resurreccion Borra, Florentino Tuason Jr., Romeo Brawner and Nicodemo Ferrer Jr. — had signed the documents.

 

Sema said there was need to overhaul the Comelec and appoint a new set of commissioners with integrity and delicadeza (propriety).

Shariff Kabunsuan was once Maguindanao’s first legislative district, to which Cotabato City belonged

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