Comelec-declared 'nuisance' Senate bet gets SC relief

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 20 2022 03:11 PM

Animal welfare advocate Norman Marquez files his certificate of candidacy for senator on Oct. 1, 2021. Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News.
Animal welfare advocate Norman Marquez files his certificate of candidacy for senator on Oct. 1, 2021. Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News.

MANILA — The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against a Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolution declaring senatorial aspirant Norman Marquez a "nuisance candidate."

In a tweet, the SC confirmed granting the relief sought by Marquez against the Comelec, preventing the poll body from enforcing its declaration. 

The SC asked the Comelec to comment on Marquez's petition within 10 days.

The SC intervention came as the poll body is about to start the printing of Halalan 2022 ballots.

Hours after the SC's TRO in favor of Marquez was handed down, the Comelec announced the postponement of the ballot printing, but cited "technical factors" encountered by the printing committee.

It was unclear if the SC order was a factor in the postponement of ballot printing, even as the Comelec claimed that the "final ballot face," which contains the final list of candidates, has been ready a day prior but was never released. 

This is not the first time Marquez challenged a Comelec order declaring him a nuisance candidate. 

In 2019, the SC issued a landmark ruling stating that "Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in declaring Marquez a nuisance candidate on the ground of failure to prove financial capacity to sustain the financial rigors of waging a nationwide campaign."

While the SC decision, released after the elections, did nothing to allow Marquez to run for Senate then, it has become a guiding principle for the poll body in cautiously branding an aspirant a "nuisance."

During the filing of certificate of candidacy in October last year, Marquez said he is an animal welfare advocate. He said he would represent the "biggest sector" in society: the animal lovers and pet owners.

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