The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday defended members of its Second Division against allegations they were “bias” in deciding in favor of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the case filed by Christian B. Buenafe’s group.
In a virtual press briefing, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez “took exception” to the claim made by Buenafe’s group in their Motion for Partial Reconsideration (MPR).
Buenafe’s group alleged the Comelec Second Division committed several “abuse of discretion,” when it decided on their case. It asked the Comelec en banc to compel members of the said Division to inhibit themselves from deciding on the MPR.
The decision, which dismissed the Buenafe petition to have Marcos’ Certificate of Candidacy (COC) canceled, was penned by Comelec Commissioner Socorro B. Inting and were signed by Comelec commissioners Antonio T. Kho, Jr. and Rey E. Bulay
“The Commission stands by the integrity of its commissioners. But specifically, because the ponente was Commissioner Inting,” Jimenez said.
He noted request for inhibition for Comelec commissioners from petitioners is quite common to increase their chances of getting a decision in their favor.
“Again on the thinking that it is unlikely the commissioner or division will reverse itself upon review,” Jimenez said.
But he noted such a request will ultimately depend on the commissioners, who are the subject of the request for inhibition.
“That is entirely up to them. And it has happened in the past we have commissioners, who inhibit voluntarily, especially if the matter at hand is something at hand is something they are personally related to or they have a stake. But in this case [Buenafe’s group] I really can’t say whether or not such an inhibition will actually happen,” Jimenez said.
As for the MPR filed by Buenafe’s group, Jimenez said the matter is unlikely to be tackled by the Comelec en banc during its meeting on Wed.
“As far as I know it might not make it tomorrow (Jan. 26), since it was just filed yesterday (Jan. 24) so it will be subjected to consultation before it reaches the en banc,” Jimenez said.