Comelec chair: Comment on Poe’s cases filed before SC ‘unauthorized’
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Andres Bautista on Friday said that the comment on Sen. Grace Poe’s disqualification cases filed before the Supreme Court (SC) by Commissioner Rowena Guanzon was “unauthorized.”
Guanzon on Thursday filed supposedly the poll body’s comment on Poe’s two petitions challenging the Comelec’s disqualification resolutions.
However, Bautista, in a memorandum, questioned Guanzon’s move and asked the latter “under whose authority was the comment filed?”
The memorandum was addressed to Guanzon and Comelec law department director Maria Norina Tangaro-Casingal.
Bautista said Guanzon filed the comment without any clearance from his office or the Commission en banc.
“Why was the undersigned nor any of the other members of the Commission given the opportunity to review the Comment and provide their comments thereto?” Bautista said in his memorandum.
The Comelec chair added that his name was also included in the comment but he was not given the opportunity to read the document or affix his signature.
“I find these acts not only irregular but personally disrespectful,” Bautista said.
“Please provide your explanations … within 24 hours from receipt of the memorandum. If found unsatisfactory, I may be constrained to inform the Supreme Court that the filing of the comment was unauthorized,” he told Guanzon.
Bautista also said he had been advised that the Comelec could file its comment on Jan. 12 although a request had been made that it be filed a day earlier so that the justices would have read it before their Jan. 12 en banc meeting.
The Inquirer tried but failed to reach Guanzon for comment.
In the comment that Guanzon filed before the SC last Thursday, the Comelec asked the high court to throw out the petitions of Poe asking it to reverse the poll body’s decision disqualifying the senator from the 2016 presidential race.
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