MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday ordered the camp of presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. and petitioners seeking his disqualification from the 2022 race to respond to the "intervenors" pushing for the dismissal of the latter's case.
"The petitioners and respondent in SPA 21-156 (docket number) have today been directed by the 2nd Division of the Comelec to file their respective comments to the answers-in-Intervention filed by [PFP intervenors]," Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said.
"The parties are given a non-extendible period of 5 calendar days from receipt of the order to file their comments," he added.
On Nov. 22, allies of Marcos in Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP)— Reynaldo Ramayo, Victor Rodriguez, and Thompson Lantion— filed an Answer-in-Intervention seeking to dismiss the petition for the cancellation of Marcos' certificate of candidacy (COC) filed by civic leaders Christian Buenafe, et al.
The Buenafe, et al petition seeks the cancellation of Marcos' COC over alleged material misrepresentation when he claimed he was eligible to run for the country's top job despite having been convicted of tax evasion.
Marcos in 1995 was convicted for failure to file mandatory income tax returns from 1982 to 1985.
According to the petitioners, Marcos' conviction should prevent him from running for president, even if the Court of Appeals in 1997 reduced the penalty to a mere fine.
Overall, there are 6 separate petitions before Comelec seeking to block Marcos' attempt for the country's top post.
The Marcos camp has repeatedly labeled the petitions "nuisance" and "trash" orchestrated by critics.