MANILA — An election lawyer on Sunday urged the Supreme Court to immediately resolve the petitions against presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s candidacy to alleviate the public's "election anxiety."
"It is incumbent for the Supreme Court right now to expedite the resolution of these petitions so that iyong mga anxiety ng mga tao, kung totoo ngang qualified iyong candidate, eh dapat we'll settle our minds na ito na ang ating presidente," Philippine Bar Association immediate past president Rico Domingo told ABS-CBN TeleRadyo.
(It is incumbent for the Supreme Court right now to expedite the resolution of these petitions so it won't contribute to the public's anxiety. If the candidate is truly qualified, then our minds should already be settled that he is the president.)
He noted that while there have been petitions to cancel the candidacies of local bets in the past, the petition against Marcos Jr. is "unprecedented" because the Supreme Court asked the respondents to comment even while it was on a break.
"Bigyan n'yo na ng resolution para yung mindset ng mga tao ay malagay sa tahimik. Hindi tayo uncertain," Domingo said.
(Give it a resolution to calm people's minds. So that we're not uncertain.)
Domingo also noted that, citing previous SC decisions, a popular vote cannot erase the irregularities or flaws in a candidate's qualifications, should there be any found.
If ever the Supreme Court decides to cancel Marcos Jr.'s candidacy, the 31 million votes cast for him would be considered stray.
But this should not come as a surprise to the average voter, Domingo said, as they voted for him on the assumption that he was qualified.
On May 17, a group of Martial Law survivors filed a petition before the Supreme Court to cancel Marcos Jr.'s candidacy for president, citing material misrepresentation.
"Consequently, respondent Marcos Jr. must be deemed to have never been a candidate from the very beginning, his candidacy invalidated, and the votes attributed to him considered stray," the petition read.
The Supreme Court then asked the respondents to comment on the petitions but did not issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) or injunction. Without this, canvassing and proclamation of the presidential and vice-presidential race winners will push through this week.
For his part, Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said that if the Supreme Court decides to cancel a bet's candidacy, the second placer in their race will be considered the winner, even if the former had already been proclaimed.
"Bakit? Eh kasi nga hindi nga naging kandidato iyong nanalong iyon. Iyon po ang tinatawag na cancellation of candidacy," Garcia said.