Arroyo’s legal spokesperson Raul Lambino said they will question the issuance of the warrant by the Pasay RTC, saying it has no jurisdiction on the case.
Lambino said the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) erred when it filed the case before the lower court when the proper forum is before the Sandiganbayan since Arroyo is a public official.
The Comelec, for its part, said Republic Act 9369, which amended Article 286 of the Omnibus Election Code, gives exclusive jurisdiction over cases of electoral sabotage to regional trial courts. It said the law does not grant to the anti-graft court jurisdiction over election-related offenses.
After a review of relevant laws, the defense team realized that the Pasay City RTC had jurisdiction over the case.
In a pleading, the defense team maintained that only the Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction over cases involving government officials with a position of Salary Grade 27 and above.
As President during the time of alleged commission of the crime, Arroyo was at Salary Grade 33, the highest category in government service.
Flaminiano told the court that the defense team was withdrawing the portion of the pleading that questioned the court’s jurisdiction over the case. Other than that issue, the team kept their other arguments.
From a forum thread:
“it’s not even the pasay rtc’s jurisdiction, it’s the sandigan bayan’s.”
“Read up. Not being tried for graft. Electoral fraud cases fall on RTC’s jurisdiction. Huwag masyadong mabilis mag-echo ng naririnig.”
“you should be the one who should read up, sandigan bayan has the jurisdiction for erring public officials as long as they meet certain requirements.
“Again, not being tried for graft.
For Omnibus Election Code
The regional trial court shall have the exclusive original jurisdiction to try and decide any criminal action or proceedings for violation of this Code.
Electoral Sabotage ang kaso hindi graft. :)”
“Comelec comm. Rene Sarmiento says under the law, “electoral sabotage cases” are to be handled by RTC not Sandiganbayan.”
“RTC has exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of electoral sabotage under RA 9369, Art. 268”
“Korek. Goes to show how much Arroyo’s lawyers know by questioning this law. ehehehe. Pa-presscon presscon pa tuloy naguguluhan ang taongbayan sa totoong batas. Kailangan sandiganbayan daw magdesisyon. :P”
““nawala na yung mga “lawyers” dito sa thread ah”
^^ supalpal e. hindi nila alam na mostly TUNAY NA lawyers ang COMELEC an banc. good job for the executive branch”