Marcos party wants Guanzon disbarred for leaking vote

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 28 2022 11:46 AM | Updated as of Jan 28 2022 01:58 PM

Members of Akbayan party-list hold a protest outside the Commission on Election headquarters on Nov. 4, 2021, calling for the disqualification of presidential candidate Ferdinand
Members of Akbayan party-list hold a protest outside the Commission on Election headquarters on Nov. 4, 2021, calling for the disqualification of presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. in the 2022 presidential elections. ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE)- The political party of presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is seeking the disbarment of Comelec commissioner Rowena Guanzon for leaking her decision to disqualify Marcos in the May 2022 election.

Guanzon on Thursday revealed she voted in favor of a consolidated case involving 3 petitions to disqualify Marcos in the May polls. She said she suspects an "unseen hand" has dipped its fingers into the case after the decision was delayed. 

"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. 

"Ibig sabihin may political interference kasi obvious ba hindi na siya sumasagot sa telepono niya, ayaw na niya talaga sumagot," she added, referring to Commissioner Aimee Ferolino

In response, the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, Marcos' political party, accused Guanzon of illegally disclosing and leaking her vote "with undue haste."

"Because of her premature disclosure or leaking of her unpromulgated dissenting opinion, Commissioner Guanzon should be disbarred, with forfeiture of her retirement benefits and lifetime pension because she destroyed the reputation of the institution which these moneys come from," PFP general counsel George Briones said in a statement.

He urged Comelec to investigate Guanzon for alleged violations of Code of Judicial Conduct, saying her suspicions about political interference in the Marcos are "double hearsay" and "pure tsismis." 

He accused the commissioner of being an "incorrigible narcissist" and of openly siding with presidential candidate Leni Robredo "who is the candidate of petitioners, by her undue haste to come out with a decision resorting to illegally leaking her minority opinion to the news media."

Guanzon, however, slammed the party, saying the Commission en Banc has no jurisdiction over an administrative complaint against a Commissioner. 

"I am an impeachable officer. You people better study. Let's debate on TV," she said in a Twitter post. 

She also questioned if Marcos knew about his party's threat while the case is pending. "Alam ba ni BBM that Partido Federal is threatening me, the Presiding Commissionerwhile his case is pending? Baka e contempt ko kayo ipakulong ko kayo sa Manila city jail," she warned. 


A coalition of victims under President Ferdinand Marcos' martial rule, meanwhile, praised Guanzon for her decision to disqualify the son and namesake of the late dictator from the presidential race.

"Commissioner Guanzon minced no words in stating that Marcos Jr. was not qualified to become president because his conviction involved 'moral turpitude based on the evidence and the law,' and that the son of the dictator went as far as faking documents and receipts to cover up his failure to pay his tax deficiencies!" the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (Carmma) said in a statement.

The group also salute Guanzon for revealing that “powerful” forces were conspicuously at work to sabotage her vote.

"We eagerly await Commissioner Guanzon’s revelation about the identity of those who are meddling to deliberately delay the release of the first division’s decision," Carmma said.

"We beseech Commissioners Aimee Ferolino and Marlon Casquejo to stand on the right side of history and decide for truth, justice, and integrity — and no more delays," it added.

Meanwhile, 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 division and release thereof," he said in a statement.

Calleja urged the poll body and its commissioners to "uphold the mandate of the Comelec to conduct fair honest and truthful elections."

He also hoped the decision would "uphold the law as supreme without any hint of influence or pressure to decide otherwise."

Guanzon on Thursday disclosed her vote favoring the disqualification of Marcos, who she said had been sentenced in a crime involving moral turpitude, which is one of the grounds for disqualification under the Omnibus Election Code.

She is part of the 3-member first division of Comelec 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.

The poll body earlier said its first division would rule on the petitions on or before Jan. 17.

Malacañang, sought for comment on the matter, said they would respect whatever decision Comelec would have on Marcos' disqualification case because it is an independent constitutional commission. 

"We will respect the independence of the Comelec as an independent constitutional body," Acting Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.


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