Hocus pocus? Comelec's Guanzon debunks speculations on anti-Marcos cases

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2022 06:37 PM | Updated as of Jan 19 2022 09:35 PM

Commissioner Rowena Guanzon George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File
Commissioner Rowena Guanzon talks to the media after a hearing with Ronald Cardema explaining his notice of withdrawal as Duterte Youth Partylist nominee at the COMELEC headquarters in Manila on September 25, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — In an unexpected move, a ranking official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday went live on Facebook to explain the "grounds, legal procedures, and due process" in resolving petitions seeking to bar presidential frontrunner Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. from joining the Halalan 2022 race. 

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who sits in the First Division, said she hopes the public would understand the poll body's procedures so they do not jump into conclusions and speculations over the cases challenging Marcos' presidential run.

"Kapag hindi po naiintindihan, nagagalit ang mga tao, akala nila ay may hocus pocus na nangyayari dito. Sana po naintindihan ninyo ang legal grounds, procedures, at saka yung mga due process na binigay namin sa magkabilang partido ayon sa batas," Guanzon said. 

Guanzon’s explainer comes on the heels of a Second Division ruling junking the petition seeking to cancel the certificate of candidacy (COC) of Marcos.

DIFFERENCE

According to Guanzon, a COC cancellation case only has one ground under the Omnibus Election Code (OEC), which is that this cause of action may be sought “exclusively on the grounds that any material representation” was entered on the COC.

"Yung kaso na finile nila (petitioners Fr. Christian Buenafe, et al.) sa Second Division, ang isyu lang po doon ay si Marcos, Jr. ba ay gumawa ng isang false statement o false material representation... Ang sinasabi ng Second Division, ang petitioners nagkamali ng paglagay o pagsulat ng kanilang grounds sa kanilang petisyon,” Guanzon explained.

Meanwhile, the First Division has yet to hand down its ruling on the 3 petitions for disqualification filed against Marcos.

The promulgation was stalled after a staff of the commissioner in charge of the consolidated cases contracted COVID-19.

Most of the cases against Marcos are hinged on his conviction for non-filing of tax returns for taxable years 1982 up to 1985.

RELATED VIDEO

Watch more News on iWantTFC