The next few days should be very interesting, given the space the Filipino people have given to political events in the run up to the May 2022 national elections.
One such event is the petition filled for the cancellation of the Certificate of Candidacy of front-running presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
The Commission on Elections or Comelec has granted the motion for extension filed by Marcos to file his comment on the petition for cancellation of his COC for president.
Then, in a split second, there was confirmation that former Solicitor General and Justice Secretary Estelito Mendoza, who had argued for the government and won cases during martial law, had been hired on November 15 to join the Marcos’ legal team.
In his motion submitted to the Comelec that same day, Mendoza said: “Considering counsel’s current workload and the time required for him to review the petition and prepare for an adequate response, respondent BBM is constrained to request for an extension of additional five days from November 16.”
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the poll body’s Second Division composed of Commissioners Socorro Inting and Antonio Kho, Jr. has given the former senator another five days to submit his comment.
“Getting word that Comelec 2nd Div just now issued an extension in the cancellation case against former Senator Marcos. 5 days,” he said in a Twitter post on Thursday.
“But since the 5th day falls on a Sunday, the last day is actually 22 (November),” he added.
On the other hand, there are now four petitions filed against Marcos in the May 2022 polls before the poll body.
These include two petitions for cancellation filed by Fr. Christian B. Buenafe et al. and Tiburcio “TVM” Marcos and petition for disqualification filed by Bonifacio Ilagan et al. and a petition to
declare as nuisance candidate filed by Danilo Lihaylihay.
Of the four cases, only one petition — filed by Fr. Christian Buenafe, Fides Lim, Ma. Edeliza Hernandez, Celia Lagman Sevilla, Roland Vibal, and Josephine Lascano — has been scheduled for a preliminary conference meeting on November 26.
A motion to intervene was filed by Edwin Reyes, Napoleon Siongco, Fernando Guevara, Rommel Bautista, Santiago Muńoa Jr, Glenn Gallos, Noel Carpio, Joel Mayo, Marie Soriano, and Mario Montejo on the petition to cancel.
We are sure many Marcos supporters – and even those in the so-called political opposition – will be on their toes during the next few days. We will be watching as well.
In the meantime, the Comelec has released the implementing rules and regulations for next year’s national elections that will pave the way for the holding of “e-rallies” as an alternative to physical sorties amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IRR will govern the implementation of Republic Act 9006 or the Fair Elections Act for the May 9, 2022 national and local elections. (ai/mtvn)