Comelec stands by extension given to Marcos camp; petitioners firm on objection

Published November 25, 2021, 10:39 AM

by Dhel Nazario

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division stood by its decision to provide an extension for Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., to submit his verified answer in relation to the summons issued for the petition seeking the cancellation of his certificate of candidacy (COC).

Comelec/MB

In a notice dated Nov. 23 sent to petitioners, the Comelec Second Division denied their motion for reconsideration and cited Section 4, Rule 1 of the 1993 Comelec Rules of Procedure which gives it the power to “suspend its rules or any portion thereof.” Section 4 states that “in the interest of justice and in order to obtain speedy disposition of all matters pending before the Commission, these rules or any portion thereof may be suspended by the Commission.”

“The Comelec therefore has authority to suspend the reglementary periods provided by the rules in the interest of justice and speedy resolution of the cases before it. Under this authority, the Commission is similarly enabled to cope with all situations without concerning itself about procedural niceties that do not square with the need to do justice, in any case without further loss of time, provided that the right of the parties to a full day in court is not substantially impaired,” the document stated.

On Nov. 2, Petitioners Fr. Christian Buenafe of Task Force Detainees, Fides Lim of Kapatid, Ma Edeliza Hernandez of Medical Action Group, Celia Lagman Sevilla of Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance, Roland Vibal of PH Alliance of Human Rights, and Josephine Lasvano of Balay Rehab Center filed a petition to cancel Marcos’ COC which according to them, contains multiple false material representations.

The petitioners said that Marcos acknowledged receiving the notice on Nov. 11 thus leaving him until Nov. 16, 2021 to submit his verified answer. His camp later filed a “Motion for Extension of Time” which the Comelec Second Division granted on Nov. 18.

READ MORE: Comelec grants extension to Marcos camp to submit answer on COC cancellation case

On Nov. 19, they filed a motion for reconsideration imploring the Comelec Second Division “to hold in abeyance or suspend the effectivity of the assailed order and to reconsider, recall, and deny the same for being moot and academic.” They have earlier expressed their opposition to the “Motion for Extension of Time” filed by Marcos’ camp in response to the summons issued by the Comelec.

The Comelec Second Division mentioned in the notice that the petitioners suffered “no damage” as Marcos submitted his answer on Nov. 19 or three days before the expiration of the extension. It was also stated by the Comelec that there was a justification found in the motion.

Meanwhile, on Nov. 24, the petitioners filed a “Bill of Exceptions” wherein they said that they “most respectfully take exception to the Commission’s Resolutions granting respondent a new period within which to submit his answer and denying petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration of said Resolution.” Through this, the petitioners expressed their continued objection to the validity of the extension granted by the Comelec Second Division.

“Moreover, and contrary to the observation that Petitioners suffered no damage as respondent filed his Answer on 19 November 2021, Petitioners up to this point, a mere two (2) days away from the scheduled Conference, still have not received a copy of the supposed Answer,” the document stated.

Meanwhile, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez that there will be a preliminary conference on Friday, Nov. 26 for the said petition.

“It’s a virtual meeting but it’s not accessible to the public or media,” he said.

On the other hand, Marcos, Jr. also has a pending petition to declare presidential aspirant, Tiburcio Marcos who ran independent, a nuisance candidate before the Comelec 2nd Division.

The independent presidential aspirant, according to Jimenez filed a petition to cancel Marcos, Jr.’s COC on the question of his identity if he was the actual “Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.”.

“For Tiburcio, I think the principal ground raised was identity. That something to the effect that BBM is not BBM,” he said.

 
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