By Michelle R. Guillang | Daily Tribune
He also insisted that the six other pending cases against the late dictator’s son have ‘no legal basis’
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has junked the very first case filed against the presidential candidacy of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
In Comelec’s 2nd Division ruling dated 16 December, the poll body found that the petitioner, 2022 presidential aspirant Danilo Lihaylihay, “utterly failed to demonstrate” that the late dictator’s son is a “nuisance candidate” for the 2022 national elections.
In his petition, Lihaylihay argued that Marcos aims to put the election process in mockery or disrepute, saying that the former lawmaker only wanted to run for president to have his “family’s political comeback in Malacañang.”
However, Comelec’s decision stated that Marcos “does not fall under any of the three types of nuisance candidates” and dismissed Lihaylihay’s arguments as “sweeping statements” and “unfounded claims.”
Under the Comelec rules, an aspirant for public office would be considered a nuisance candidate if one has the intention to “put the election process in mockery or disrepute” or seeks to cause confusion among voters by the similarity of their names.
Another ground for an aspirant to be declared as nuisance if he or she has “clearly demonstrated” no genuine intention to run for an elective post.
The Comelec stated that Marcos “sufficiently established” that he has a “bona fide (genuine) intention” to run for president, citing his ranks to pre-election presidential surveys and his overall public office stint. It also noted that Marcos is the presidential candidate of a political party registered with the Comelec — the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP).
In 2016, the Comelec declared Lihaylihay a “nuisance candidate.”
In a message to the Daily Tribune on Saturday morning, lawyer Vic Rodriguez — Marcos’ spokesperson and chief of staff — said the dismissal of the case is “expected.”
“The dismissal of the case is expected as this is among the multiple nuisance petitions filed against presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos,” Rodriguez said.
He also insisted that the six other pending cases against the late dictator’s son have “no legal basis.”
“We have always maintained that there exists no legal basis to cancel the Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) nor disqualify UniTeam presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos and that elections are won and settled through the ballots on election day not by maliciously filing nuisance petitions,” Rodriguez claimed.
“We call on every Filipino to be vigilant in safeguarding our right to freely choose our leaders and respect the voice of the people,” he added.
“UniTeam” refers to the alliance among PFP, Lakas-CMD Partido ng Masang Pilipino, and regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) for 2022.
Marcos is PFP’s presidential candidate while his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, is both HnP and Lakas-CMD’s chairperson and vice-presidential candidate for next year’s polls.
Marcos’ camp is still facing at least six pending cases questioning his candidacy — four disqualification cases and two seeking to cancel his CoC.