MANILA (UPDATE)— The Supreme Court cannot stop the canvassing of votes and the proclamation of winners in the presidential and vice presidential race, presumptive President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. told the high court in a filing on Thursday afternoon.
Citing various constitutional provisions, Marcos Jr., through lawyer Estelito Mendoza, said the language and intent of the provisions show they are “mandatory and the Supreme Court is without jurisdiction to prevent their implementation."
Among constitutional provisions Marcos cited are the provisions on judicial review under section 1 of Article VIII of Constitution and an Article VII provision mandating that the president and vice president’s 6-year term starts on June 30 at 12 noon and ends on June 30 at 12 noon, six years later.
Marcos Jr. also invoked section 4 of Art. VII of the Constitution which states that the election returns for the president and vice president shall be opened by the President of the Senate “not later than 30 days after the day of the election” during a joint public session of the Senate and the House of Representatives, which shall then canvass the votes.
“The person having the highest number of votes shall be proclaimed elected,” a portion of the provision said.
The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered Marcos Jr., Comelec, the Senate and the House of Representatives to comment, within 15 days, on a petition for certiorari filed by a group of civic leaders led by Fr. Christian Buenafe, which seeks to overturn the ruling of the Comelec junking their plea to cancel Marcos’ certificate of candidacy.
The same petition urged the high court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to halt the canvassing of votes and the proclamation of frontrunner Marcos.
On Friday, Mendoza claimed the high court's resolution has denied the petition for a TRO.
"That is extremely stated in the SC resolution that the TRO is denied. I believe that the SC resolution states that the prayer is denied," he told ANC's Headstart.
The SC has not yet given the petition due course, according to lawyer Pacifico Agabin, former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law.
"The resolution ordering the respondent to comment does not mean it has given due course to the petition. It is routinary and in all cases the SC requires respondents to comment on the petition," he told ANC's Headstart in a separate interview.
"Usually that resolution of SC requires the respondents to comment because it is in the interest of fairness and due process that the SC does not take nay positive action until afer it has heard the side of both parties."
In their original petition before Comelec, petitioners alleged Marcos Jr. committed material false representation when he claimed under oath in his COC that he is eligible and is not disqualified to run for president despite his tax conviction.
The poll body, through a division decision and later through an en banc ruling, dismissed the petition to deny due course or cancel Marcos’ COC.
Petitioners filed the petition for certiorari on Monday, alleging the Comelec gravely abused its discretion.