GMA News Online : Guanzon's disclosure of vote in Marcos DQ case 'improper, irresponsible' - Marcoleta

29 January 2022

By RICHA NORIEGA | GMA News Online

The decision of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon to reveal her vote even if the disqualification case against former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is still pending resolution was "irresponsible," according to House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta on Saturday.

Marcoleta made the statement after Guanzon disclosed to the media on Thursday that her vote was to disqualify Marcos from the May 2022 presidential race.

“Guanzon’s behavior is improper as it is irresponsible, to say the least. As the matter involves the resolution of the case pending before her division, she should have waited for the opinion of the assigned ponente before prematurely disclosing her vote in public,” he said in a statement.

“Because it has now become apparent that the decision is against her opinion, she resorted to ridiculous innuendoes that could assail the integrity of her colleagues and that of the Comelec itself,” he added.

Marcoleta, who is part of the Marcos-Sara Duterte Senate slate, said the sub judice rule could have been violated by Guanzon by disclosing her vote.

"In essence, this rule restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to pending judicial proceedings. This restriction applies to litigants, the public in general, and most especially the members of the Bar and the Board," he said.

Marcoleta said Guanzon turned her back on the constitutional mandate that states public officers and employees must all times serve the people with “utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency.”

GMA News Online sought the reaction of Guanzon but has yet to receive a response as of posting time.

Guanzon told The Mangahas Interviews on Friday that the resolution is being held up by Commissioner Aimee Ferolino, a member of the First Division who is handling the case.

She also asked Ferolino if she had been influenced by a senator to delay the release of the resolution.

Meanwhile, Ferolino has accused Guanzon of trying to influence her in the disqualification case against Marcos.

In a letter to Comelec Chairperson Sheriff Abas, Ferolino said Guanzon "consistently took liberties in telling me to adopt her opinion."

Ferolino also said there was no undue delay in the resolution of the case.

"It has now become apparent that Guanzon's actions were calculated to bully the ponente (who already admitted that she has been pressured to adopt Guanzon's opinion) and the concoction that a big politician is meddling in her division was all made up," Marcoleta said.

“Disagreements are allowed, even encouraged, but should not be in a way to put undue pressure on the members. Guanzon mocked the rule of collegiality,” he added.

On Friday, Guanzon asked Ferolino to submit by January 31 a written explanation for the delay in the release of the resolution on the case.

“She is delaying it so that my vote will not be counted after February 2 because she has been influenced one way or the other,” Guanzon said. — VBL, GMA News