The Manila Times : Comelec showdown seen

31 January 2022

By Jomar Canlas | The Manila Times

A SHOWDOWN is expected today, January 31, between Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon and her fellow commissioner Aimee Ferolino over a case calling for the disqualification of Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. as a presidential candidate.

Today is Guanzon's last day in office, since she is due to retire on February 2.

The row between the two commissioners ignited after Guanzon revealed last week her decision as head of Comelec's First Division to disqualify Marcos.

She said she was compelled to make her decision public because she suspects somebody powerful was trying to delay the issuance of the resolution.

Ferolino fired back at Guanzon, saying in a letter that the latter "consistently took liberties in telling me to adopt her opinion." In the letter, addressed to Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas, she accused Guanzon of "trying to influence my decision and trying hard to persuade me to her direction." She said the 15 days given to her to draft a resolution is applicable only to a single case, not to three consolidated cases.

If someone is to be blamed for the delay in crafting the resolution, it should be Guanzon, she said.

Guanzon warned in a TV interview there will be "trouble" if the ponente does not come up with a resolution today.

As a matter of procedure, a resolution must be issued by the ponente ahead of any separate opinion.

But Guanzon said she believes Ferolino is withholding the release of the resolution "until after I retire in order to defeat my vote." "This way, my separate opinion will not be attached to the majority resolution and will not form part of the records," she said. Guanzon said Ferolino agreed to release the decision on January 17, but Ferolino denied in her letter to Abbas that she did so.