AN ELECTION commissioner accused of delaying the disqualification case against the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos on Wednesday said the agency’s credibility would not be affected by a “minor issue.”
“The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is composed of so many people from the top to the lowest employee,” Commissioner Aimee P. Ferolino told a news briefing. “The rough patch or minor issue will not affect the credibility of the commission as a whole.”
The Comelec First Division of Comelec last week rejected three consolidated lawsuits seeking to disqualify former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. from the presidential race this year.
His failure to file tax returns in the 1980s, for which he was convicted a decade later for tax evasion, did not involve wicked, deviant behavior, according to the ruling written by Ms. Ferolino.
Retired Comelec Commissioner Maria Rowena V. Guanzon had accused her of delaying the case so her vote for disqualification would not be counted. She also said a senator from Davao was trying to meddle in the case.
“We have the machinery, which is impartial, and people on the ground who will continue doing their job without bias,” Ms. Ferolino said.
The commissioner appears to have made up her mind and does not care about the election body’s credibility, Hansley A. Juliano, a former political science professor studying at Nagoya University’s Graduate School of International Development in Japan, said in a Facebook Messenger chat.
“True test of integrity is not the absence of a problem, but the ability to continue despite rough patches,” Comelec spokesman James B. Jimenez told the same briefing. “We will show them that the 2022 polls are the kind of elections that Filipinos deserve.”
Victims of the dictator’s martial law regime have asked the Comelec en banc to reverse the division ruling, saying Mr. Marcos’s conviction for tax evasion involved “moral turpitude.”
Marcos lawyer and spokesman Victor D. Rodriguez last week called the lawsuits a nuisance. — John Victor D. Ordoñez