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CNN Philippines : Comelec to decide on Marcos bid; orders opposing camps to file memoranda

News & Interviews
16 December 2021

By Melissa Luz Lopez | CNN Philippines

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 16)— The Commission on Elections’ Second Division has ordered both camps in the first petition to cancel Bongbong Marcos’ 2022 presidential bid to file their memoranda or final response to the case in time for its official decision.

The opposing camps were given five days to submit their response.

This is the final step before poll commissioners decide whether or not Marcos should be allowed to run in 2022, according to the December 13 order issued by presiding commissioner Socorro Inting.

Lawyer Theodore Te, who represents the group of human rights defenders led by Fr. Christian Buenafe, told CNN Philippines that the parties have until Monday, December 20, to file their final response before the Second Division submits the case for resolution.

Last week, the poll body rejected three parties which submitted their own interventions – one in support of the cancellation, the other two asking the division to junk it.

The Second Division also rejected Te’s request for the Comelec to summon Marcos’ tax records and certified copies of his proof of payment of deficiency taxes and penalties. It also axed the request of Marcos’ lawyer Estelito Mendoza for face-to-face hearings.

“[A]fter a careful evaluation of the pleadings and pieces of evidence submitted by both parties, the Commission (Second Division) finds that settling the case for clarificatory hearing and the addition of more evidence, including the subject of the subpoena prayed for by the petitioners, are no longer necessary in the resolution of the case,” Inting wrote. “Doing so would only result to unnecessary delay which is inconsistent with the summary nature of this case.”

The poll body earlier said a decision on the case may be out by December. Comelec spokesman James Jimenez earlier said that Marcos' name will stay on the 2022 ballot unless the poll body finds a reason to remove him.

Jimenez has said that the final list of candidates for 2022 will be released during the last week of the year at the earliest.

Meanwhile, there are six other cases filed against Marcos’s presidential candidacy: four disqualification cases, another petition to void his COC, and one to declare him as a nuisance candidate.

Marcos’ spokesman Atty. Vic Rodriguez has repeatedly dismissed these cases as “nuisance” petitions, insisting that the ex-senator’s fate should be decided by the election proper rather than by the Comelec.