MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has no self-imposed deadline to resolve the disqualification petitions against presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., according to a poll body official Wednesday, but conceded these must be decided "as soon as possible."
In an ambush interview during the mock elections in Pasay City, Comelec commissioner Antonio Kho, Jr., who is set to retire Feb. 2022 or 3 months away from the May 9 elections, admitted no specific timeline was set to finish hearing the petitions against the late dictator's son.
"No self-imposed deadline... Wala kaming deadline but conscious ang commissioners, ang Comelec na we have to decide on this as soon as possible," Kho told reporters.
There are currently 6 active petitions against the candidacy of Marcos, namely:
1. Buenafe, et al. vs Marcos - Petition to cancel certificate of candidacy (COS)
2. Tiburcio Marcos vs Marcos - Petition to cancel COC
3. Ilagan, et al. vs. Marcos- Petition to disqualify
4. Akbayan, et al. vs. Marcos - Petition to disqualify
5. Mangelen vs. Marcos - Petition to disqualify and cancel CONA
6. Pudno Nga Ilocano vs Marcos - Petition to disqualify
According to Kho, if they fail to resolve the cases before the scheduled printing of ballots by second week of January, they would have no choice but to include Marcos Jr.'s name in the list of official candidates.
"Naghahabol kami, the commissioners are working double time to finish all these cases. Kung di namin matapos masasama yung mga pangalan nila sa balota, without prejudice [to the resolution]," Kho explained.
Marco Jr.s' presidential bid is considered as the most legally-contested in the country's recent election history.
His camp has repeatedly said that all the cases against him are "political trash," lodged by "political assassins," intended to block his presidential bid.