By Gerard Naval | Malaya Business Insight
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday gave members of its Former First and Second Divisions, orphaned by the retirement of senior commissioners last month, 45 days to dispose of pending cases.
“Within a period of 45 days from the retirement of a commissioner, the member-commissioners of the Former First Division and the Former Second Division, thereafter, shall complete and windup the resolution of the cases previously raffled to the remaining members as ponente,” said Comelec Resolution No. 10765.
After the 45-day period, the Former First Division and Former Second Division will be automatically dissolved.
A decision has yet to be issued on the remaining petition for disqualification filed against presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, pending before the former Second Division.
The pending petition is the one filed by the “Pudno Nga Ilokano” (the pure Ilocanos) against Marcos.
Resolution No. 10765 states that in the event a pending election case is not resolved on time, the designated ponente will be retained, regardless of his division assignment.
“In case a commissioner is reassigned to another division, the reassigned commissioner shall bring the pending cases raffled to him/her as ponente in the previous division to the regular division, where he/she may be reassigned,” said the Comelec.
As for pending cases assigned to the retired chairperson/commissioners, the Comelec has ordered a re-raffle.
Former chairman Sheriff Abas and Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Antonio Kho retired on February 2.
Since then, the Commission en Banc has reshuffled the members of the two divisions to handle new cases, or cases not yet raffled to a division.
Acting Chairperson Socorro Inting will head the First Division, and Commissioner Aimee Ferolino will serve as member. The Second Division will be headed by Commissioner Marlon Casquejo as presiding commissioner with Commissioner Rey Bulay as member.
For pending cases raffled to the Former First and Second Divisions, the Comelec said the members shall remain. This means Casquejo will be the presiding commissioner while Ferolino will be the member of the Former First Division. Inting will be the presiding commissioner, and Bulay the member of the former Second Division.