WITH just over two months before Election Day, a group of Ilocanos pressed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Friday, March 4, to resolve its petition to disqualify presidential bet Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. from running in the May 9 polls.
In a four-page Urgent Motion to Resolve, the petitioners, composed of members of Pudno Nga Ilokano (pure Ilocanos), asked the Comelec 2nd Division to resolve the disqualification case, which was filed last December 7.
"Petitioners implore the Honorable Commission to resolve the petition with utmost urgency given its impact on the coming national elections," said the petitioners.
"Wherefore, petitioners most respectfully pray that this Honorable Commission resolve the petition in this case soonest," the group added.
The Ilocanos said this is because Comelec rules provide that if the petition cannot be decided before the completion of the canvass, the votes cast for the respondent may be included in the counting and in the canvassing.
"The failure to resolve the instant petition would cause complications in that the votes cast for respondent may be included in the counting and in the canvassing. Further, if the evidence of guilt is strong, as in this case, his proclamation (in the very remove event that he wins) shall be suspended notwithstanding the fact that he received the winning number of votes in such election," said the petitioners.
Similarly, the Ilocanos said an immediate ruling is necessary in order to give either parties the opportunity to bring the case before the Supreme Court (SC).
"Whatever the decision of the Honorable Commission may be, it is likely that it will be elevated to the Supreme Court. It would be in the interest of the country that the Supreme Court decides the appeal before the elections," said the petitioners.
The group also said the Comelec 2nd Division has the capacity to resolve the case despite the recent retirement of Commissioner Antonio Kho.
"The 2nd Division of the Honorable Commission still has two of the three original members, who received all submissions on this case, and are therefore competent and equipped to decide and rule on the case without further delay," said the Ilocanos.
In their original petition, the Ilocanos said Marcos should be disqualified from running for president of the Philippines after he "willfully and arrogantly refused to pay taxes".
It is currently the last pending petition for disqualification against Marcos, as the six other cases have already been dismissed by the poll body. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)