By Neil Arwin Mercado | Inquirer.net
MANILA, Philippines — The Second Division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has denied a petition seeking to cancel former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s certificate of candidacy (COC) for president, Atty. Theodore Te disclosed Monday.
Te, who serves as lawyer for petitioners composed of political detainees and human rights and medical organizations that opposed Marcos’ dictatorship, said the denial of the petition was sent to their camp on Monday morning.
“In essence, the Comelec agreed with the petitioners that the representations made in Item 11 and Box 22 of the COC of Marcos Jr. are material but disagreed that they were false; in the process, the Second Division ruled that there was no ground to cancel Marcos Jr.’s COC on the ground of material representation,” Te said in a tweet.
Te said the petitioners will seek reconsideration of the decision.
“Counsels are not free to discuss the grounds to be included in the Motion for Reconsideration until the same is filed. Additional updates will be provided once the same is filed,” the said.
Since the ruling was handed down by the Second Division, the Comelec en banc may still have to convene to tackle the matter after the panel has ruled on the motion for reconsideration.
The petitioners claimed that Marcos Jr. is not eligible to run for any public office since the Quezon City Regional Trial Court convicted him in 1995 for his failure to file income tax returns.
“Specifically, Marcos falsified his Certificate of Candidacy when he claimed that he was eligible to be a candidate for president of the Philippines in the 2022 national elections when in fact he is disqualified from doing so,” the petitioners earlier said.
Marcos Jr.’s spokesperson, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, thanked the Comelec for “upholding the law” and the right of Marcos to “run for public office free from any form of harassment and discrimination.”
“The petitioners’ mere creativity for writing and wanting what is not written in the law as basis to cancel the certificate of candidacy of Presidential Aspirant Bongbong Marcos is way too frivolous and unmeritorious to override the basic precepts of the Constitution,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
“After the petitioners’ right to have their day in court where their case was fully heard and ventilated, the Comelec has unanimously spoken — the petition to cancel the certificate of candidacy of Bongbong Marcos was denied,” he added.