It may be recalled that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) filed last November 2011, three (3) electoral sabotage cases against, among others, former President GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, former COMELEC Chairman BENJAMIN ABALOS, SR., ANDAL AMPATUAN SR., which cases are now pending before the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City.
Recognizing that the COMELEC does not have sufficient number of legal officers to effectively prosecute such cases, the COMELEC En Banc promulgated Resolution No. 9333 last 18 January 2012, resolving to authorize the Secretary of Justice to designate DOJ prosecutors, who shall assist the COMELEC Prosecution Team in the prosecution of said electoral sabotage cases.
Pursuant to such authorization, and acting on the implied request for prosecutorial support, Secretary LEILA M. DE LIMA, in turn, issued Department Order No. 049, dated 19 January 2012, designating Assistant State Prosecutor MARl ELVIRA B. HERRERA (DOJ-Manila), Assistant City Prosecutor ORLANDO G. MARIANO (OCP-Pasay City), Associate Prosecution Attorney GERARD E. GAERLAN (DOJ-Manila), and Associate Prosecution Attorney MARK ROLAND S. ESTEPA (DOJ-Manila) as the DOJ prosecutors who shall assist in the prosecution of the cases listed in Resolution No. 9333.
Such DOJ Prosecutors are considered deputized by the COMELEC and, for purposes of the prosecution of the said electoral sabotage cases, shall be under the direct control and supervision of the COMELEC through its Prosecution Team.