Comelec's Guanzon votes to disqualify Bongbong Marcos in Halalan 2022

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 27 2022 08:18 PM | Updated as of Jan 28 2022 12:00 PM

Comelec commissioner Rowena Guanzon voted in favor of petitions seeking to disqualify presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos. ABS-CBN News/File.
Comelec commissioner Rowena Guanzon voted in favor of petitions seeking to disqualify presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos. ABS-CBN News/File.

MANILA (3rd UPDATE) - Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon on Thursday revealed she voted in favor of a consolidated case involving 3 petitions to disqualify presidential frontrunner Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. in the May polls.

"I voted to DQ (disqualify)," Guanzon told ABS-CBN News.

Guanzon voted in favor of the 3 petitions because she believes Marcos Jr. has been sentenced in a crime involving moral turpitude, which is one of the grounds for disqualification under the Omnibus Election Code.

Guanzon is part of the three-member Comelec First Division handling consolidated petitions for Marcos' disqualification from the presidential race over a 1995 tax evasion conviction.

The petitions were separately filed by martial law survivors, led by Bonifacio Ilagan; Akbayan party-list; and Abubakar Mangelen.

A majority vote is needed to grant or junk the petitions. The other members of the 1st Division are Commissioners Aimee Ferolino and Marlon Casquejo.

According to Guanzon, Ferolino is the "ponente" or the the commissioner assigned to write the ruling.

Guanzon, who is set to step down from office next week, admitted the division has yet to take a vote on the consolidated case.

"The ponente, who has the duty to write the resolution, 16 days na hindi pa niya nilalabas, eh may agreement naman kami na Jan. 17 ilabas," Guanzon explained. 

Guanzon suspects an "unseen hand" has dipped its fingers into the case.

"Ibig sabihin may political interference kasi obvious ba hindi na siya sumasagot sa telepono niya, ayaw na niya talaga sumagot," Guanzon said, referring to Ferolino. 

Ferolino refused to comment on Guanzon's moves, citing the subjudice rule.

In a statement, Akbayan, one of the petitioners, lauded Guanzon's vote.

"Comm. Guanzon's vote also gives us hope that there are more voices inside the Comelec that do not believe in, or at the very least, doubt the electoral qualification of Bongbong," the group said.

Howard Calleja, counsel for petitioner Bonifacio Ilagan, said he was "deeply concerned with the developments in the first division of the Comelec." 

While I salute commissioner Guanzon for her truth, honesty and most of all for her adherence to justice and the rule of law. I am saddened by her revelation of political influence and manipulation hounding the decision of the first decision and release thereof," he said in a statement.

"At this point, I still would like to trust in the neutrality and independence of the other commissioners and the Comelec as a whole." 

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