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One News : Comelec Junks Bid To Declare Marcos Nuisance Bet

News & Interviews
19 December 2021

By Robertzon Ramirez | One News

The Comelec second division ruled that the “evidence is grossly insufficient” to declare Marcos as a nuisance candidate. Several petitions against the presidential aspirant remain pending before the poll body.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has junked the petition to declare presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. a nuisance candidate – one of seven bids to disqualify him from the May 2022 polls.

In a seven-page resolution dated Dec. 16, the Comelec Second Division ruled that the “evidence is grossly insufficient” in the petition filed by Danilo Lihaylihay to have Marcos’ certificate of candidacy (COC) cancelled.

The ruling, signed by Presiding Commissioner Socorro Inting and Commissioner Antonio Kho Jr., pointed out that Lihaylihay did not even furnish the Second Division a copy of the COC his petition sought to cancel.

Lihaylihay, who is also a presidential aspirant, filed the petition last Oct. 12, claiming Marcos is a nuisance candidate and, as such, should not be allowed to run for president.

In a Viber message to reporters on Saturday, Dec. 18, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the petition was denied because it failed to prove that Marcos’ candidacy falls under any of the three categories to declare him as a nuisance bet.

Jimenez explained that political aspirants are only declared nuisance bets if they filed their COC to mock or disrepute the country’s election system; to cause confusion among voters by the similarity of names or to fail to demonstrate a bona fide intention to run for office.

He said the Second Division explained that Lihaylihay’s “line of reasoning fails to convince” the poll body that Marcos put the election system in mockery or disrepute on the pretext that he only wants “to have his family’s political comeback in Malacañang Palace.”

The commissioners said that “mockery” is defined as insulting or contemptuous action or speech while disrepute is defined as lack or decline of good reputation or a state of being held in low esteem.

“Based on these definitions, no inference can possibly be made that [Marcos’] act of filing his COC for president puts the election process in mockery or disrepute,” they said.

They also emphasized that Lihaylihay failed to establish that Marcos had filed his COC to cause confusion among voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates.

On the petitioner’s failure to establish that Marcos has no bona fide intention to run for office, the Second Division stated: “[Marcos], who continuously rank as the most preferred candidate in recent presidentiable surveys, previously served as vice governor, governor and representative of the province of Ilocos Norte. He also became a senator and he was a candidate for vice president in 2016. Additionally, [Marcos] is backed by a registered political party, the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas.”

Ruling ‘expected’

Marcos’ camp welcomed the Comelec ruling, saying it was “expected.” “The dismissal of the case is expected as this is among the multiple nuisance petitions filed against presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos,” said lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ spokesman.

Rodriguez said they expect the Comelec to also dismiss the six other petitions seeking to disqualify Marcos from running for the highest position in the country on May 9, 2022.

“We have always maintained that there exists no legal basis to cancel the certificate of candidacy nor disqualify UniTeam presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos and that elections are won and settled through the ballots on Election Day, not by maliciously filing nuisance petitions,” he said.

“We call on every Filipino to be vigilant in safeguarding our right to freely choose our leaders and respect the voice of the people,” Rodriguez added. – With Edu Punay, Ralph Edwin Villanueva