MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is being urged to dig deeper into what is possibly an "undue, intimate, insider familiarity" of Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos' camp within the poll body, where the late dictator's son faces several cases to block his 2022 presidential bid.
In a motion filed by Ted Te representing anti-Marcos petitioners Christian Buenafe, et al, he urged the poll body to use its motu proprio powers to investigate the statements of Marcos spokesman Vic Rodriguez "alluding to insider knowledge of the Commission’s actions."
At 9 in the morning of Nov. 18, Rodriguez appeared on national TV to announce the Comelec second division "yesterday" granted their appeal for a "7 day extension" to file their verified answers to the Buenafe, et al petition.
However, the division composed of commissioners Socorro Inting and Antonio Kho Jr. had not yet officially handed down their order granting the extension at that time.
Te admitted he was taken aback by Rodriguez's announcement, which prompted him to go over his email to check any updates from Comelec: there was none at that time.
Suspicions grew even more by noon when Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the second division has yet to decide on the Marcos appeal for extension.
Hours later, Rodriguez would be proven right about about the extension grant.
Rodriguez would later refuse to detail how he got his information ahead of everyone else or who his source was.
COMELEC CREDIBILITY 'AT STAKE'
For Te and the petitioners, the Comelec "ought to and should take motu proprio the appropriate action" to investigate Rodriguez's "preternatural ability to dictate the Second Division’s decision a day before the Commission even deliberated the matter."
"Statements like those of respondent’s spokesperson that suggest an undue, intimate, insider familiarity with the Commission cast a long shadow over the Commission’s credibility," Te said.
He added that the integrity of the whole electoral process might also be put into question.
"There is more at stake than a false public statement made by... an outsider in this case... [T]hey are dangerous ─ to the credibility of this Commission, of the vetting process, and to the electoral process," Te said.
ABS-CBN News reached out to Rodriguez and Jimenez to get their respective reactions but they have yet to respond.
There are 5 pending petitions before the Comelec seeking to block Marcos' attempt for the country's top post: 3 petitions for the cancellation of COC, one petition for declaration as nuisance candidate, and a petition for disqualification.