November 25, 2021 | 10h28
MANILA, Philippines – The Elections Commission has dismissed the appeal filed by the Civic Leaders’ Group questioning the granting of an extension of time to submit the response of the presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on their request for cancellation of his certificate of candidacy.
The Second Division of Comelec, in a three-page order dated November 22, dismissed the petitioners’ request for reconsideration through their lawyer, attorney Theodore Te.
The Comelec division reiterated that there was a justification found in the motion filed by Marcos which sought to extend the deadline to file the response to November 22, from November 15.
“In fact, in the exercise of its power to suspend its regulations by virtue of the provisions of article 1, section 4, of the internal regulations of Comelec, in the interest of justice and the importance of case, the Commission (second chamber) considers it appropriate to allow the two parties to be heard ”, indicates the order signed by the commissioner of Comelec, Socorro Inting.
Comelec affirms its power to suspend regulatory periods in the interest of justice
In the reconsideration request, the petitioners called on Comelec to recall its order which granted Marcos’ extension request and barred the presidential candidate’s team from submitting evidence and a memorandum “in accordance with its internal rules. “.
They argued that the extension granted to Marcos is “manifestly against the law”, citing Article 4 (6) of Article 23 of the internal regulations of Comelec which does not provide “any reason for an extension of time” .
The Commission Division, in its resolution in its motion, cited Article 4, Rule 1 of the 1993 Comelec Rules of Procedure, which gives it the power to suspend its rules or part of them.
“Comelec therefore has the power to suspend the regulatory deadlines provided for by the regulations in the interest of justice and the rapid settlement of the cases referred to it,” he said.
By virtue of this authority, the commission declared itself able to “face all situations without worrying about procedural subtleties which do not correspond to the need to do justice, in any case without further loss of time, provided that the right of the parties to a full day in court is not substantially impaired.
The Commission also stressed that a case is best decided when all parties are able to set out their respective claims and present and provide evidence to support their arguments.
The Comelec division also said the petitioners suffered no damage as Marcos filed his response on November 19 or three days before the granted extension expired.
Petitions against Marcos’ offer
The first petition filed against Marcos’ presidential candidacy was filed on November 2. She claimed that her COC contained “several material misrepresentations”, citing a 1995 trial court conviction for her inability to file her tax returns for several years.
Another group of petitioners, professionals represented by attorney Howard Calleja, have sought to join them in their offer. Another group of martial law victims also filed a disqualification motion against Marcos.
Two other petitions aimed at blocking his candidacy for the presidency have also reportedly been filed against Marcos.
Marcos is represented by Martial Law Era Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza. Their campaign called the petitions against Marcos a “nuisance case” which is “nothing but garbage”.