Not one but two panels from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Commission on Elections (Comelec) will work in tandem to investigate alleged massive cheating in the 2004 presidential and 2007 senatorial elections.
In a 5-page joint order dated August 15, 2011 signed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, the DOJ and the Comelec created a joint Preliminary Investigation Committee and a joint Fact-finding Team.
The joint Preliminary Investigation Committee, composed of its chairman Prosecutor General Claro Arellano (DOJ) and members: Provincial Prosecutor George Dee (DOJ), City Prosecutor Jacinto Ang (DOJ), Atty. Ferdinand Rafanan (Comelec) and Atty. Michael Villaret (Comelec, “shall conduct the necessary preliminary investigation on the basis of the evidence gathered and the charges recommended by the Fact-finding Team.”
“Resolutions finding probable cause for election offenses, defined and penalized under the Omnibus Election Code, and other election laws shall be approved by the Comelec in accordance with the Comelec Rules of Procedure. For other offenses, or those not covered by [the] Omnibus Election Code and other election laws, the corresponding criminal information may be filed directly with the appropriate courts,” the joint order read.