MANILA - Malacañang on Monday said it is leaving to the Commission on Elections to answer criticisms over the supposedly preferential treatment the poll body gave to President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies during the filing of certificates of candidacies last week.
Duterte visited the Comelec tent in Sofitel, Pasay City last Friday to “show support” and raise the hands of each of the senatorial lineup of the PDP-Laban's Cusi faction who filed their certificates of candidacies, despite strict rules limiting the number of companions allowed in the filing area.
Asked for comment, Palace spokesman Harry Roque deferred to the Comelec to answer the criticisms.
“I leave that for Mr. (Comelec spokesperson James) Jimenez to comment on. That is something for Comelec to comment,” Roque said.
Sen. Nancy Binay criticized the poll body for Duterte party’s supposed special treatment.
“If you can't be fair and impartial, then what will [the 2022 elections] be like?” she said.
In a virtual press briefing, Comelec denied giving Duterte and his slate special treatment.
"I would like to point out that we have been very fair in our handling of all the parties. All parties have received the same sort of treatment," Jimenez said.
He added that companions of the administration slate were asked to go out because "they were too many."
The COC filing last Oct. 1 to 8 is one of the first major activities by the Comelec ahead of the May 9, 2022 national and local elections.