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Manila Bulletin : Comelec denies motions to intervene on petition seeking to cancel Bongbong COC

News & Interviews
13 December 2021

By Leslie Ann Aquino | Manila Bulletin

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division has denied the motions to intervene in the petition seeking to cancel the certificate of candidacy (COC) of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.in the May 2022 polls.

These are the motion for intervention filed by the group of Rommel Bautista, the motion to intervene filed by Reynaldo Tamayo, and admit answer-in-intervention filed by the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) in connection with the petition filed by the group of Fr. Christian Buenafe against Marcos.

As to the Bautista motion, the Commission said it is of the view that allowing the intervention of Bautista, et al. shall “unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties in this case.”

“If the instant Motion for Intervention is granted, this will necessarily result to unduly delaying the resolution of the main Petition,” read the order.

“What is more, the Commission (Second Division) is not oblivious to the likely scenario that if the intervention of Bautista, et al. is allowed, this would certainly encourage other possible intervenors to file their own motions for intervention. If this happens, the Commission will be placed in an unenviable task of resolving these imminent motions for intervention, thus further unduly delaying the resolution of the main case,” it further read.

The Commission said it is also of the opinion that the Bautista Motion is a crafty attempt to circumvent the reglementary period for filing a petition under Sec. 78 of the Omnibus Election. Code.

“To conclude, ruling in favor of the Bautista Motion would provide would-be litigants who fail to observe the mandatory 25-day period an opportunity to circumvent it at the mere expedient of anchoring it to a Petition filed on time in the guise of a so-called ‘Petition-in-Intervention,'” read the order.

“Furthermore, allowing the Bautista Motion would certainly open the floodgates to like-minded litigants to file their own interventions to the case at hand. Surely, such scenario would unduly delay the resolution of the main petition. This should not be permitted to happen,” it further read.

With regard to the Tamayo and PFP Motions, the Comelec Second Division declares that admitting the Tamayo and PFP Motions will certainly cause undue delay in the adjudication of the rights of the original parties: petitioners Buenafe, et al. and respondent BBM.

“Admitting the Tamayo and PFP Motions into the records of this case will necessarily result into giving the other parties certain periods within which to respond to the Answers-in-Intervention. The resolution of these pending incidents, not to mention the possible institution of similar Answers-in-Intervention by other curious parties – would surely lead to further delay in the resolution of the main case,” read the order.

“In order to avert this scenario from happening, the Commission (Second Division) is constrained to exercise its discretion and thus proceed to deny the Tamayo and PFP Motions,” it further read.

The Comelec also viewed the motions of Tamayo and PFP as attempts to file a belated answer in behalf of Marcos.

“Here, both Tamayo, et al. and the PFP suddenly entered the picture and attempted to intervene by submitting their respective Answers-in-Intervention, raising therein matters or defenses, which were not advanced by Respondent BBM in his Answer dated 19 November 2021,” it said.

“If the Commission (Second Division) shall admit the Tamayo and PFP Motions and consider the same in the resolution of the main case. We would in effect be according undue advantage to Respondent BBM. Allowing the intervention of Tamayo, et al. and PFP necessarily places Respondent BBM on an unfairly advantageous position,” the poll body added.