Inquirer.net : Comelec affirms dismissal of DQ cases vs Bongbong Marcos

By Christia Marie Ramos | Inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc on Tuesday junked the appeal of petitioners against the dismissal of four disqualification cases against former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., now the runaway frontrunner in the initial tally of the May 9 polls.

Voting 6-0-1, the Commission en banc affirmed the dismissal of the cases against Marcos, who currently leads the presidential race by a wide margin over second placer, Vice President Leni Robredo.

The en banc ruled on the appeals filed by Akbayan party-list; Abubakar Mangelen, chairman of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas faction; and the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law after their petitions were dismissed by the Comelec’s First Division.

The fourth appeal is on the junked disqualification case filed by group Pudno Nga Ilocano.

The petitioners may still make an appeal before the Supreme Court.

The petitioners sought to disqualify Marcos over his failure to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985 when he was vice governor and, later, governor of Ilocos Norte.

The en banc promulgated two rulings: One consolidated the motions for reconsiderations on the dismissal of three petitions seeking to disqualify Marcos. Another ruling was on the fourth petition, which asked the poll body to cancel Marcos’ certificate of candidate.

Comelec Commissioner George Garcia inhibited from both rulings as Marcos was among his previous clients as an election lawyer.

According to the en banc, the petitioners “failed to raise new matters that would warrant the reversal” of the decision on the disqualification cases.

It said it found “no cogent reason” to “disturb” the findings of the Comelec division that dismissed the cases.

“Stripped of non-essentials, the instant Motions for Reconsideration merely contain rehash of Petitioners’ assertions and argument before the Commission,” the ruling read.