Comelec assures it will respect SC decision on cases vs Bongbong

Published May 17, 2022, 3:34 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday, May 17, assured that it will respect the ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) on the petition filed against President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Comelec Acting Spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco (Ali Vicoy/MB)

“Comelec will always abide by any order, notice, or decision of the highest court of the land,” stated Comelec Spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco during a press briefing.

Laudiangco pointed this out after a group filed a petition on Tuesday asking the SC to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would stop the Senate and the House of Representatives from canvassing the votes for Marcos and proclaim him, should he get the highest number of votes, as the 17th President of the country.

“Given that the same is already lodged again with the Supreme Court and has taken cognizance of it we will await the decision of the Supreme Court on the matter,” the spokesperson said.

He also said that “Comelec will not pre-empt any action on their (Senate and House of Representatives) part because under the law they are the ones to canvass and ultimately proclaim the winning candidates for president and vice president.”

The petition before the SC was filed jointly by petitioners Fr. Christian B. Buenafe, co-chairperson of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines; Fides M. Lim, chairperson of the Kapatid-Families and Friends of Political Prisoners; Ma. Edeliza P. Hernandez, executive director of the Medical Action Group, Inc.; Celia Lagman Sevilla, secretary general of the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance, Inc.; Roland C. Vibal of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advicates; and Josephine Lascano, executive director of the Balay Rehabilitation Center, Inc.

The petitioners named as respondents the Comelec, Marcos, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.

They filed the petition before the SC after the Comelec dismissed with finality their petition seeking to declare void the certificate of canvass (COC) of Marcos for “material misrepresentations on two items” in his COC.

In the petition that was filed before the SC on Monday, May 16, the petitioners asked the tribunal to cancel and declare void ab initio (void from the beginning) the COC of Marcos.

“The respondent Comelec failed to carry out its mandate to enforce and administer the laws relating to the conduct of elections when it refused, despite basis, to exercise its duty to cancel respondent Marcos Jr.’s COC in view of the latter’s material misrepresentations …,” they alleged.

The petitioners said Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 105 convicted Marcos in 1995 for violating the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) for failure to pay his income tax returns and to pay the taxes for the years 1983 until 1985.

They pointed out that the COC indicated that he is “eligible for office I seek to be elected to” and that “he has never been found liable for any offense, which carries the penalty disqualification to hold public office.”