SC requires comment on petition to cancel Marcos Jr. COC

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 19 2022 05:09 PM

Members of CARMMA ABS-CBN News/file
Members of CARMMA, Bayan Muna, Karapatan, Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda) hold a protest outside the Commission on Election (Comelec) on February 14, 2022, against the junking of the disqualification case filed against presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA — The Supreme Court on Thursday issued an unexpected order requiring respondents to comment on a petition seeking to question Comelec’s ruling on a cancellation of COC case against presumptive President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

In a 1-page media briefer, the high court said it is giving respondents Comelec, Marcos Jr., the Senate, and the House of Representatives 15 days to comment on the petition for certiorari, which also asked the SC to issue a TRO to temporarily halt the canvassing of votes and proclamation of president and vice president set next week.

"WHEREAS, considering the allegations contained, the issues raised and the arguments adduced in the Petition, without necessarily giving due course thereto, it is necessary and proper to REQUIRE the respondents to COMMENT on the petition and prayer for temporary restraining order within a period of fifteen (15) days from notice hereof,” the en banc resolution was quoted as saying in the media briefer.

“NOW, THEREFORE, respondents COMELEC, Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr., Senate of the Philippines, and House of Representatives are hereby required to COMMENT on the petition and prayer for temporary restraining order within a period of fifteen (15) days from notice hereof,” it added.

No TRO or injunction was issued.

Without a TRO or injunction, and with respondents given 15 days to comment, canvassing and proclamation of winning president and VP will likely push through next week.

SC magistrates are on recess and were not scheduled to meet en banc until June 14.

A request for comment from the SC if justices held a special en banc session on Thursday remains unanswered.

The petition was filed by civic leaders led by Fr. Christian Buenafe and represented by former SC spokesperson Theodore Te.

They claimed Marcos Jr. committed a 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.

Comelec, first 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.

Reacting to SC order for respondents to comment, Te, the lawyer for civic leaders, said they welcome the move of the high court but hope that the period to comment is inextendible, “considering that time is of the essence.”

“The petition is one of first impression and of grave public interest and we hope that the Court will be given the opportunity to rule substantively on the issues raised,” he said in a statement.

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