The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is expected to decide on the petition to void former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.’s presidential bid next month.
"There's probably going to be something around December," Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source on Thursday (November 4).
The spokesperson said that once the case is raffled to the First or Second Division of Comelec, a summons would be issued on Marcos for which he will be given five days to answer.
"With five days to answer and three days to submit the memoranda, that's already one week [of November] gone. And then you have to talk about the schedule, so I'm estimating maybe late December [is the release of the verdict]," Jimenez continued.
A preconference will then be held on the case, and both parties will be given three days to submit their respective memoranda until the matter will be deemed up for resolution.
It was last Tuesday (November 2) that some human rights groups filed a petition to cancel Marcos' candidacy owing to some "multiple false material representations" in his certificate of candidacy (COC). They also said that Marcos, the late dictator's son and namesake, committed "moral turpitude" when he was convicted in July 1995 for failing to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985.
Marcos was sentenced to nine years in prison and fined for violating Sections 45 and 50 of the National Internal Revenue Code. Although the Court of Appeals upheld the previous guilty verdict, Bongbong was not jailed.
Meanwhile, Marcos' spokesperson Victor Rodriguez called the move to junk Marcos’ candidacy a "nuisance petition." In another interview with CNN, Rodriguez called this "propaganda of the yellow camp" who allegedly tried to paint Marcos as a tax evader.
Responding to Marcos’ camp’s press release claiming that Comelec said there was no clear basis for the petition, Jimenez reiterated that his statement from a previous interview was taken out of context.
In the earlier interview, Jimenez said that he was referring to the disqualification against Marcos when he ran for vice president in 2016. "It was in that context that I made that statement ... before the filing of the present petition," he said.
The Comelec spokesperson has yet to comment on the November 2021 petition.
The petition to cancel a certificate of candidacy is different from a disqualification case. According to Jimenez, a petition to cancel a certificate of candidacy, just like the plea against Marcos, can be filed within 25 days from the filing of COC. Meanwhile, a disqualification case can be filed any time after the last day for COC filing, but not later than the date of proclamation.
Ana Catalina Paje is a development journalist passionate about grassroots communication geared towards genuine social change. She also writes about showbiz, lifestyle, and all things Pinoy pride. The views expressed are her own.
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