Comelec urged to apply law 'evenly' to all candidates after BBM no-show

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 11 2022 10:49 AM

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MANILA - The Commission on Elections should apply the law evenly to parties involved in its cases, senatorial candidate and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno said Tuesday.

Diokno made the remark after presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos failed to appear in a virtual preliminary conference for 3 cases against him before the Comelec last week. The former senator was unable to attend the hearing following exposure to COVID-19 positive individuals, his camp said.

"I hope and I pray that the Comelec will apply the law evenly whoever is involved even if it is a person who has 50 percent approval in the surveys. I believe the Comelec has recently required the (Marcos') physician to I think notarize the document and explain," he told ANC's Headstart.

"Dapat walang exemption, dapat patas ang batas dito satin (There should be no exemptions, the law should be fair), this is the problem we've had for so long where we have a double standard of justice."

Marcos has come under fire for skipping the Comelec in-person preliminary conference last Friday following exposure to COVID-19 positive individuals. 

Akbayan party-list accused Marcos of "lying through his teeth", noting the presidential aspirant granted 2 radio interviews before the conference. 

"Kaya magpa-interview sa radio, pero hindi kaya dumalo sa hearing ng kanyang kaso? He is clearly lying. The fact that he was able to give a radio interview less than a day before his required appearance in a hearing is not only proof of deception, it shows the whole nation that he does not care about our laws and the procedures that bind every citizen to follow them," Akbayan First Nominee Percival Cendaña said in a statement.

Marcos' spokesperson, Vic Rodriguez, meanwhile said Marcos was placed in isolation after his condition worsened after the interview. 

"On the morning of January 7, BBM was obliged to go in isolation because his condition worsened. It was at that time that the Comelec wanted him to appear even through a video conference. A judgment call was made to let BBM continue with his needed rest, since he was in bed after taking his medicines," he said.

WORKING WITH MARCOS

In the Headstart interview, Diokno was asked if he would be able to work with Marcos if they both win in their respective races.

He said the "Senate has always been independent of the executive branch."

"I would like to carry on that tradition," he added.

It was under the dictatorship of Marcos' father that Diokno's father, former Senator Jose Wright Diokno, was imprisoned without any legal cases.