Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon explained on Wednesday, Jan. 26 the reason why the First Division has not yet released its decision on the disqualification case filed against presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
In a Facebook live, Guanzon who is part of the Comelec First Division handling the disqualification case of Marcos Jr., said that she was already prepared on Jan. 17 and has even finished her separate opinion on the case. This was the same day that the Second Division junked the petition to cancel the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of Marcos Jr.
However, the ponente or another commissioner who was tasked to write the decision was not ready after one of his or her lawyers tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Alam ko bakit anxious na kayo kasi 16 days na di pa lumalabas ang resolution (I know why you’re all anxious because it’s been 15 days and the resolution has not yet been released),” she said.
She said that according to their internal rules, in a span of 15 days, there should already be a resolution.
Her Twitter account, which she actively uses from time to time, has been bombarded by questions, speculations and other opinions on the disqualification case. Yet she dispelled rumors that she was bought off, which is one of the many allegations being thrown at her on social media which has caused the delay.
“Hindi naman kayo siguro maniniwala na nasuhulan ako para patagalin ko ‘to (I don’t think you’re going to believe that I was bought off to delay this),” she stated.
Now that the ponente is out of quarantine, Guanzon asked the public to give the commissioner a few more days to finalize the decision. Guanzon mentioned that she wants to retire with a zero backlog of cases.
Three consolidated cases are being handled by the Comelec First Division. These were filed by Abubakar Mangelen, Akbayan and Bonifacio Ilagan et al.
Mangelen’s disqualification case against Marcos Jr. was filed on ground of ineligibility arising from a previous conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.
Akbayan filed on Dec. 2 a disqualification case against Marcos Jr. and averred that he is “perpetually” barred from running for public office due to his 1995 tax evasion conviction. The respondents also stated that Marcos Jr. was convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude and was sentenced to a penalty of imprisonment of more than 18 months.
The first disqualification case against Marcos Jr. was filed on Nov. 17, 2021 by Bonifacio Ilagan et al. who cited similar points with Akbayan during the preliminary conference on Jan. 7.