Comelec asserts independence after Calida threat over Rappler deal

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2022 05:00 PM | Updated as of Mar 04 2022 05:51 PM

MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday asserted its independence as Constitutional body after Solicitor General Jose Calida demanded the termination of the poll body's deal with news website Rappler. 

"With respect to Rappler, we received an advisory from the Solicitor General and we are still studying our options because I would like to emphasize that Comelec is a Constitutional body and an independent body," Comelec Chairman Socorro Inting said.

Comelec last week signed a memorandum of agreement with Rappler for a series of projects heading up to Halalan 2022 on May 9.

But Calida questioned the pact and demanded that Comelec unilaterally withdraw from the agreement on or before March 4.

Calida said if Comelec refuses to do so, he "may have to file the necessary case in court to declare nullity of the MOA by 7 March 2022."

Aside from Calida, the camp of presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. also attacked Comelec's partnership with Rappler. 

Calida campaigned for Marcos Jr. in the latter’s failed vice presidential bid in 2016.

Rappler CEO Maria Ressa said Calida's claims against the deal are not true.