Business Mirror : Comelec junks consolidated case vs BBM; only 1 of 7 cases pending

10 February 2022

By SAMUEL P. MEDENILLA | Business Mirror

ONLY one case against presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. remains pending with the Commission on Elections, after the First Division unanimously voted to junk the consolidated case against the former senator on Thursday.

“The consolidated petitions of Ilagan v. Marcos Jr., Akbayan v. Marcos Jr, and Mangelen v. Marcos Jr. have been dismissed for lack of merit,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a post in his Twitter account. 

In the decision penned by Commissioner Aimee P. Ferolino and signed by Comelec Commissioner Marlon S. Caquejo, the First Division said the petitioners failed to prove that the Court of Appeals penalized Marcos with perpetual disqualification from public office for his several counts of tax violation.

It said the consolidated case did not show any proof that Marcos was convicted for a crime involving moral turpitude, citing the Supreme Court ruling on the case of Philippines vs Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos.

“We see no legal infirmity in adopting the said dictum in the hopes of finally putting the issue on moral turpitude to rest,” the First Division said.  

Apply the law 

In his separate opinion on the case, Casquejo defended the validity of their decision. 

“The Commission is confronted with legal issues subject to strong public scrutiny. But no matter how unpopular our findings and appreciation of facts and the law is, we must remain unperturbed and apply the law as it is,” Casquejo said. 

Following the decision of the Comelec First Division on the consolidated case, only the case filed by Pudno Nga Ilokano against Marcos is left of the seven original cases seeking to remove the former lawmaker from the 2022 presidential race. 

The Second Division earlier junked the petition of  Danilo Lihaylihay to have Marcos declared as a nuisance candidate; and the petition of Christian Buenafe et al., as well as that of Tiburcio Villamor to have the former senator’s COC cancelled. 

New Division compositions 

The case of Salandanan will now be handled by the Second Division, with Casquejo now serving as its new presiding commissioner. 

Acting Chairman Socorro B. Inting decided to reshuffle the members of the Comelec Division following the retirement of Comelec chairman Sheriff M. Abas and commissioners Rowena V. Guanzon and Antonio T. Kho Jr. 

The First Division now has Inting as its new presiding commissioner and Ferolino as its member. 

Meanwhile, Casquejo was assigned as presiding commissioner of the Second Division with Commissioner Rey E. Bulay as its member. 

Inting decided that cases not yet raffled to a Division or those filed after Feb. 9. 2022 will be given to the newly constituted Divisions. 

Cases, which were already raffled prior to last Wednesday, will remain in the Division it was assigned “to ensure its orderly, speedy, and judicious disposition.” 

Vic Rodriguez statement

Commeting on the Comelec First Division’s dismissal of Marcos’s disqualification cases, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, his Chief of Staff and spokesperson, issued this statement:

“We again commend the honorable members of the Comelec’s 1st Division for upholding the law by dismissing cases that we have long described as nuisance petitions.

“The Petitioners in this case, Ilagan, Akbayan, Etta Rosales and Mangelen, were found guilty of lying and of deliberately misleading the Comelec by intentionally quoting the wrong provisions of the law and squeezed them into their faulty narratives.

“While we call on this seemingly misguided segment of our society to stop spreading lies against presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos, we nonetheless extend our hands of unity and continue with our call for them and every Filipino to join us in shaping  a better and united future for our people.”