Lawyer warns vs delaying ruling on Marcos disqualification before 3 Comelec execs retire | Inquirer News
Close  

Lawyer warns vs delaying ruling on Marcos disqualification before 3 Comelec execs retire

/ 01:43 PM January 06, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — A convenor of opposition coalition 1Sambayan on Thursday expressed concerns that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will decide on the disqualification petitions against presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr after the retirement of three of the commissioners of the poll body in February 2022.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I pray that the commissioners, including the chairman, if it goes en banc, will hopefully put this issue, close this issue with the Comelec prior to their retirement in February,” lawyer Howie Calleja said in a forum on Thursday.

Calleja, who represents a group of detainees during the dictatorship of Marcos Jr.’s father and namesake, filed a petition to disqualify the former senator due to his tax conviction.

FEATURED STORIES

“Otherwise, we will have a problem because we will only have four commissioners sitting. Unless the president will immediately appoint two new commissioners and one chairman,” he further said.

Comelec chairman Sheriff Abas and Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Antonio Kho Jr. are all set to retire next month. Guanzon was appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III.

After their retirement, the Comelec en banc will be left with Commissioners Marlon Casquejo, Socorro Inting, Aimee Ferolino, and Rey Bulay, all of whom were appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Should Duterte appoint a new chairman and commissioners to fill the seven-seat poll body, Calleja said he hopes the president will base his choice on merit.

“We are also hoping that since the president has already said that he wants a fair, honest elections… we are hoping na kung sino ang ilalagay or iuupo ni Presidente Duterte na bagong commissioner at chairman, tingin ko hindi naman po based on loyalty, because of Davao or San Beda or Lex Talionis Fraternitas connection but really on the merits sana,” Calleja said.

(We are also hoping that since the president has already said that he wants a fair, honest elections…we are hoping that whoever President Duterte will appoint as new commissioners and chairman, will not be based on loyalty, because of Davao or San Beda or Lex Talionis Fraternitas connection but really on the merits.)

“Marami namang mga tao sa Comelec na from their ranks na talagang nagsilbi sa Comelec at marami rin namang magigiting na abogado at citizens na Pilipino na pwedeng magsilbi sa Comelec,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

(There are a lot of people within the ranks of Comelec and many brave lawyers and Filipino citizens who can serve the Comelec.)

Duterte’s most recent appointee, Bulay, is a San Beda College alumnus like the president.

Nevertheless, Calleja remains optimistic that the Comelec will be able to decide on the petitions “just before the retirement” of the three commissioners.

“I think they are on track. I believe that there is still time,” he said.

For his part, 1Sambayan lead convenor retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio also noted that the Comelec, under the Omnibus Election Code, must decide on the petitions “within 15 days before the election.”

“It has time,” Carpio said, citing that the poll body has been “timely” in deciding on disqualification cases in the past.

“I think they will decide on time,” he added.

EDV

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: #VotePH2022, 1Sambayan, 2022 national elections, Comelec, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.