Join the campaign (Learn More)

The Manila Times : Marcos hurdles first DQ case

News & Interviews
19 December 2021

By William Depasupil | The Manila Times

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has dismissed the first of at least seven disqualification cases filed against presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. for being "grossly insufficient" in evidence and for failing to prove that the respondent was a nuisance candidate.

The petition to declare Marcos a nuisance candidate was filed by Danilo Lihaylihay, who is also running for president in the 2022 polls as an independent. Petitioner also asked the commission to refuse to give due course to and cancel the respondent's certificate of candidacy (CoC) for president.

In denying Lihaylihay's petition, the Comelec Second Division, headed by Presiding Commissioner Socorro Inteng immediately pointed out the petitioner's failure to submit a copy of Marcos' CoC.

"It pays to ask, how could we cancel something which is not found in the records of this case? To put it bluntly, petitioner's evidence is grossly insufficient considering that the CoC it sought to cancel was not even attached to the petition," the Comelec Second Division said in its eight-page ruling promulgated on Friday, December 17.

It added that what the petitioner submitted was his own CoC for president, a KBL (Kilusang Bagong Lipunan) letter received by the office of the respondent's mother, Rep. Imelda Marcos, on June 6, 2013, a general agreement executed by the Marcos family on Dec. 28, 1993 and a letter dated July 21, 1994 of respondent addressed to Magtanggal Gunigundo.

The division also pointed out that there were only "three possible instances" where a candidate for public office may be classified as a nuisance candidate, namely: If the candidate who files the CoC "puts the election process in mockery or disrepute, causes confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates, or by other circumstances or acts, which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filed thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the elections."

These grounds, the division explained, were based on Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code. Supreme Court jurisprudence, and Section 1 of Rule 24 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure, as amended by Comelec Resolution 9523.

"Petitioner utterly failed to demonstrate to the Commission (Second Division) that respondent fails in any of the classification listed...," the ruling read.

"In light of the foregoing disquisitions, it becomes manifest that herein respondent does not fall under any of the three types of nuisance candidates. Hence, the instant petition must be denied," the ruling concluded.

Aside from the Lihaylihay petition, Marcos is facing at least six other cases, which were either for resolution or still a subject of inquiry by the concerned Comelec division.

Cases denied by the division can still be appealed before the Comelec en banc.