PHILIPPINE STAR/ KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

A COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) official warned parties involved in a disqualification hearing against presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. of being held in contempt and thrown in jail if they “disturb” the proceedings.

“Anyone who will disturb the proceeding on Jan. 7 or interrupt me or a Commissioner will be declared in contempt and sent to Manila Jail for 48 hours,” Comelec Commissioner Ma. Rowena Amelia V. Guanzon, who is part of the division handling the case, said on Twitter on Monday. 

Ms. Guanzon had informally reprimanded lawyers involved in the cases in previous tweets in December.

She also gave a reminder on strict adherence to health protocols and other Comelec regulations.

“Bring vax cards and be ready for antigen test upon entry in the 8th floor lobby. No mask no entry. No bodyguards, no weapons,” she said.

The preliminary conference on the Akbayan Citizen Action Party’s petition against Mr. Marcos will be the first hearing among seven cases filed against the late dictator’s son and namesake. 

Two other cases led by Bonifacio P. Ilagan and Abubakar Mangelen will also be taken up on that day.

Akbayan submitted a disqualification petition on Dec. 2, citing that Mr. Marcos should be banned from seeking the presidency because of his conviction in a tax-related case, which carries a penalty of perpetual disqualification to hold public office.

The other petitions assert similar arguments, while Mr. Mangelen claims that he is the duly-elected chairman of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas and that Mr. Marcos’ certificate of nomination and acceptance by the party is “unauthorized, defective, invalid, and void.” 

Pending cases against election candidates handled by the Comelec’s Second Division will begin their hearings on Jan. 14.

Meanwhile, the Marcos camp announced Monday that more than 20 staff of their headquarters in Mandaluyong City tested positive for coronavirus. 

The office will be temporary closed until further notice and all activities will be deferred until Jan. 15. — Jaspearl Emerald G. Tan