Manila Standard : Comelec to rule ‘soon’ on BBM DQ petitions

5 March 2022

By Vito Barcelo | Manila Standard

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it would resolve all motions for reconsideration filed in relation to the case of presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. before election day.

Acting Comelec Commissioner Socorro Inting said Friday pending appeals related to Marcos Jr.’s disqualification cases would be decided before May 9, 2022.

She said the appeals have been raffled off to a ponente, or the member-in-charge of the case, adding “we’ll just have to await the release of the resolutions of these motions for reconsideration, and we will be deciding soon.”

The Comelec First Division on Feb. 10 dismissed for lack of merit the petitions of Bonifacio Ilagan, Akbayan and Abubakar Mangelen seeking to disqualify Marcos Jr.

On Jan. 17, the Comelec Second Division also junked the petition of Fr. Christian Buenafe et al. seeking to cancel Marcos’ certificate of candidacy.

The petitioners in the said cases have appealed the decisions, adding they are ready to take their cases against Marcos all the way to the Supreme Court.

A petitioner, Ray Paolo Santiago, counsel for the Pudno Nga Ilocano, said the disqualification case filed in December last year had been languishing at the Comelec’s Second Division.

“The resolution of cases raffled to the First Division has been released but it is taking a long time for the Second Division to release the decision of cases. From the time we filed our memorandum last January 17, it has already been 46 days and there is still no resolution,” he added.

At the same time, the Comelec asserted its independence as a Constitutional body after Solicitor General Jose Calida demanded the termination of the poll body’s deal with news website Rappler.

“With respect to Rappler, we received an advisory from the Solicitor General and we are still studying our options because I would like to emphasize that the Comelec is a Constitutional body and an independent body,” Inting said.

Comelec last week signed a memorandum of agreement with Rappler for a series of projects heading up to Halalan 2022.

But Calida questioned the pact and demanded that Comelec unilaterally withdraw from the agreement on or before March 4.