Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon claims that she is being threatened by Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) – Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s political party.
“Alam ba ni BBM (Bongbong Marcos) that Partido Federal (ng Pilipinas) is threatening me, the presiding commissioner, while his case is pending? Baka e-contempt ko kayo, ipakulong ko kayo sa Manila City Jail,” she said in a tweet.
(Does BBM know that PFP is threatening me, the president commissioner, while his case is pending? I might file you all for contempt and have you sent to Manila City Jail.)
This comes after the 1st division’s supposed delay on the Marcos Jr.’s disqualification case. Guanzon believes that there was “political interference” in the decision, causing its delay. She disclosed her position on Thursday – voting for Bongbong’s disqualification.
“It was delayed because they already know my vote. They think if I retire my vote will not count, which is not true,” she said.
PFP recently urged the COMELEC en banc to hold an administrative investigation of the Commissioner, alleging that the public disclosure of her vote was an “illegal leak” of her dissenting opinion and going as far as calling for her disbarment.
"Because of her premature disclosure or leaking of her unpromulgated dissenting opinion, Commissioner Guanzon should be disbarred, with forfeiture of her retirement benefits and lifetime pension because she destroyed the reputation of the institution which these moneys come from,” PFP general counsel George Briones said.
However, Guanzon did not state that it was her dissenting opinion. She only disclosed her vote.
The commissioner then scrutinized PFP for their statement, saying that the en banc “has no jurisdiction over an administrative complaint against a Commissioner. I am an impeachable officer.”
She then called on PFP to debate with her on the alleged violation.
“Marunong pa kayo sa akin eh, ako itong propesor ng batas eh. Masyado kayong marunong, sinong abogado diyan ang haharap sa akin sa debate kung may violation ako dito?”
(You think you know better than me? I’m the law professor here. Which one of you lawyers will debate me if I really committed violation?)
“I challenge George Briones of Partido Federal of BBM to a debate on TV. If he thinks he is brighter than me, he should agree. They are diverting the issue. Ilabas na ni Commissioner Ferrolino ang resolution. Ang talo, mag-Motion for Reconsideration (Commissioner Ferrolino should release the resolution. The loser should file a Motion for Reconsideration),” she said.
Guanzon doesn’t appear intimidated by the PFP's call for an investigation and disbarment.
“Huwag ninyo akong takut-takutin ng disbarment, at puwede akong magtanim ng tubo kung hindi ako makapractice (Don’t even try intimidating me with disbarment, for I can plant sugarcanes if I don’t get to practice [law]),” she said.
Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.
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