Guanzon vote invalid by Feb 3, says poll lawyer

Published January 28, 2022, 2:40 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

Wondering what will happen to Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon’s vote to disqualify presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the May 2022 polls after her mandatory retirement on Feb. 2?

Romulo Macalintal

Poll lawyer Romulo Macalintal said if Guanzon retires without any decision yet from the Comelec First Division, her vote will “no longer be counted after such retirement date.”

“This means that by Feb. 3 Guanzon’s vote will no longer be considered and the Marcos’ case will just be decided by (Aimee) Ampoloquio and (Marlon) Casquejo, unless a new Commissioner is immediately appointed by President Duterte to fill the vacancy created by Guanzon’s retirement from the Comelec,” he said in a statement Friday, Jan. 28.

“In which case, the new Commissioner will join Ampoloquio and Casquejo to finally decide Marcos’ case in the First Division,” added Macalintal.

The Comelec First Division is composed of Commissioners Guanzon, Ampoloquio and Casquejo which is handling the three disqualification cases filed by Akbayan, Bonifacio Ilagan et al, and Abubakar Mangelen against Marcos Jr.

On Thursday, Guanzon in a television interview revealed that she voted to disqualify Marcos and was just awaiting the decision to be penned by Ampoloquio whom she said is the assigned ponente or Commissioner to write the decision.

The poll official believes that it is because of her vote in the case that the delays are happening.

“To knock out my vote, they think they can invalidate it by releasing the resolution of the ponencia after I retire, which cannot happen because I already submitted my separate opinion… That should already be on the record that I voted already,” said Guanzon.

Guanzon earlier announced that the decision will be out on or before Jan. 17.

However, the staff or lawyer-in-charge of the drafting had been afflicted with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).