Petitioners ask Comelec to reconsider order on extension grant to Marcos

Published November 22, 2021, 4:57 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

One group of petitioners seeking the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy (COC) of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr has asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to reconsider its order granting the appeal of the former senator for extension of time to file answer.

Copy of the motion

In their motion for reconsideration, petitioners les by Fr. Christian Buenafe, through their counsel Theodore Te, said the order of the Comelec Second Division is blatantly contrary to law.

“Under Rule 23, Sec. 7 (of the Comelec Rules of Procedure), this is not a pro forma motion as it raises viable grounds justifying reconsideration; as such, the order dated 18 November 2021 should be held in abeyance,” it read.

The petitioners said Sec. 4 of Rule 23 of the Comelec rules also provides for no ground for any extension of time.

“Sec. 4 (6) of Rule 23 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure, as amended by Comelec Resolution No. 9523 provides only one possible outcome to an unmet five day deadline: the failure of the respondent to file his verified answer within the reglementary period shall bar the respondent from submitting controverting evidence or filing his memorandum,” read their motion.

The petitioners also cited how the period to file a verified answer already lapsed.

“For this reason, there was nothing to grant; the respondent’s motion for extension was now moot,” they said.

The petitioners said the order effectively granted a new period to respondent.

It added that there is nothing in the rules of the Commission that allows this.

According to the petitioners, the Second Division’s reference to a petition in intervention brought by a different set of parties is completely irrelevant to the case at hand.

“The Commission’s Summons dated 11 November 2021 neither mentioned nor considered said petition in intervention. There has been no order consolidating that petition with the petition at hand nor any order in this case directing respondent to address the proposed intervention,” they said.

“Premises considered, petitioners most respectfully pray that, pursuant to Rule 23, section 7, this Honorable Commission hold in abeyance or suspend the effectivity of the Order dated November 18, 2021, and, thereafter, reconsider and recall its Order dated 18 November 2021, deny the respondent’s motion for extension for being moot and academic, and bar the respondent from submitting controverting evidence and from filing his memorandum pursuant to its Rules of Procedure,” added the petitioners.