Comelec junks 5th appeal vs Marcos Jr. ruling; one petition remains


MANILA, Philippines, May 13 ------ The Commission on Elections (Comelec) upheld its earlier dismissal order of a petition seeking to declare dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. a nuisance candidate.


In its ruling dated May 11, but was released to the media the day after, the Comelec en banc said the motion for reconsideration filed by Danilo Lihaylihay – who himself was later identified by the poll body as a nuisance candidate – failed to raise new arguments that would warrant the reversal of its earlier ruling. There is little expectation that the case would prosper as it is arguably the weakest among all the anti-Marcos petitions filed with the Comelec.


Lihaylihay’s petition had claimed that Marcos seeks to put the election process in mockery or disrepute “because his purpose was mainly to have his family’s political comeback in Malacañang,” but the Comelec’s 2nd Division dismissed this statement as “sweeping” and “unfounded” back in December 2021. Six members of the seven-member en banc voted to affirm the division ruling, with Commissioner George Garcia, who was once Marcos’ lawyer, inhibiting himself from the case.


This is the fifth appeal junked by the Comelec en banc, all promulgated after the May 9 elections, which saw Marcos win the presidency based on the partial, unofficial count. One case remains with the Comelec: a motion for reconsideration filed by an Ilocano group whose lawyer is former poll chairman Christian Monsod. Their disqualification case, like most other petitions, seeks to stop Marcos Jr.’s candidacy due to the consequences of his tax conviction in the 1990s.


Petitioners can file an appeal with the Supreme Court, but even if the High Court rules in their favor, it would raise a specter of complicated scenario post-elections. If Marcos officially wins the presidency but is disqualified by the Supreme Court once he assumes the position, the likely scenario is that the person who wins the vice presidency will succeed him, according to the Comelec and existing jurisprudence.


Source: rappler.com