The Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) 1st Division will finally handle its first case that seeks to bar ousted dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. from joining the 2022 presidential race.
The Comelec’s Office of the Clerk of the Commission confirmed to Rappler on Monday, November 29, that the disqualification case filed by Bonifacio Ilagan and other Martial Law survivors against Marcos has been raffled to the 1st Division.
This is the fourth anti-Marcos case to be elevated to the division level, with the first three raffled to the Comelec’s 2nd Division.
Commissioners Rowena Guanzon, Marlon Casquejo, and Aimee Ferolino will tackle the high-profile case.
Guanzon is the remaining appointee of the late president Benigno Aquino III in the commission en banc; Casquejo and Ferolino, meanwhile, are appointees of President Rodrigo Duterte who have climbed their way to the Comelec ladder as career officials.
The Ilagan petition, originally filed on November 17, directly invoked the ground of disqualification under the Omnibus Election Code, based on Marcos’ 1997 tax conviction for failing to file his income tax returns (ITR) from his time as a local official in Ilocos Norte from 1982 to 1984.
The petition also alleged that Marcos committed misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy, and urged the Comelec to cancel his papers.
But invoking both grounds, based on the Comelec rules of procedure, ran the risk of summary dismissal.
The Comelec revealed on November 26 that the Martial Law survivors withdrew their original petition, and refiled it. The new document submitted to the Comelec invoked the disqualification ground only.
Marcos has downplayed the case, and all other efforts against his 2022 Malacañang run, as nuisance and mere propaganda.
Of the three other cases that the 2nd Division is handling, one is a petition to declare Marcos a nuisance candidate, and the other two are petitions to cancel his COC.
The Comelec has not ruled out the possibility of resolving the case against Marcos before the end of the year. – Rappler.com