Martial law victims have asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to resolve a a lawsuit that seeks to bar the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos from running for president this year.
Delaying the case could lead to complications, especially with the May 9 elections nearing, they said in a six-page motion.
“The failure to resolve the instant petition would cause complications in that the votes cast for the respondent may be included in the counting and in the canvassing,” they said through lawyer Christian S. Monsod, a former Comelec chief and a constitutional framer.
“Further, if the evidence of guilt is strong, as in this case, his proclamation shall be suspended notwithstanding the fact that he received the winning number of votes in such election,” they added.
The plaintiffs also cited a Comelec order issued on Feb. 23, which says that upon the retirement of a commissioner, other members of the body must resolve pending cases within 45 days.
The election body has reorganized its divisions after its former chairman and two commissioners retired last month.
The plaintiffs earlier asked Comelec to bar ex-Senator Ferdiand “Bongbong” R. Marcos from the presidential race after he was convicted for tax evasion in the 1990s.
The election body’s Second Division rejected a similar petition in January, as it ruled Mr. Marcos did not mislead the public when he said in his certificate of candidacy that he was eligible to run for president. The case is on appeal with the Comelec en banc.
The First Division last month rejected three consolidated lawsuits seeking to disqualify Mr. Marcos from the presidential race, as it ruled that his failure to file his tax returns in the 1980s did not involve wicked, deviant behavior. The case is also on appeal with the en banc.
The cases against Mr. Marcos that are on appeal before the en banc had been raffled off to a writer and would resolved before May 9, acting Comelec chief Socorro B. Inting said earlier.
Meanwhile, Comelec has partnered with a nonpartisan group to educate the Filipino youth and first-time voters before the May 9 elections.
It signed a deal with Democracy Watch Philippines, which will offer virtual seminars and lectures to inform these voters on elections issues, according to a video of the event streamed live on Facebook.
Different universities and non-government groups will participate in providing these lectures.— John Victor D. Ordoñez