Comelec's Guanzon Retires With Marcos Disqualification Undecided. What's Next?

Retiring election official stood firm on her claims.
Photo/s: Rowena Guanzon/Facebook

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon on Tuesday stood firm on her allegation that the ruling on the disqualification case against presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos was being delayed as the poll body's first division will lose another commissioner once she retires.

Guanzon, who leads the three-member division handling the Marcos disqualification cases, is set to retire from the Comelec on Feb. 2. She is expected to be replaced by Commissioner Socorro Inting, the next most senior commissioner, who presides over the second division.

With Inting moving to the first division, her post in the second division will be occupied by  Commissioner Marlon Casquejo, who is currently part of the first division.

Guanzon earlier alleged that the resolution of the Marcos disqualification cases was being delayed so her vote to disqualify the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos' son would not be counted.

"(Casquejo) will not be able to vote on this case. Maybe they suspect that Commissioner Casquejo will also DQ (disqualify)," she told ANC.

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"So to knock out vote our votes, hindi niya ilalabas (yung decision). Ngayon malala na, two of us cannot vote," she added.

Guanzon had asked Commissioner Aimee Ferolino-Ampoloquio to release her ponencia, or the main decision, on the Marcos disqualification case as she alleged that a "senator from Davao" was backing up the latter.

She refused to name the senator but said she would disclose his identity if she would be asked to testify before the Senate.

Ferolino-Ampoloquio denied that she was delaying the resolution, saying in a memorandum addressed to Guanzon that she was taking time to review the case records. She also told Guanzon not to condition the minds of the public that there was a delay.

Guanzon threatened to file an impeachment complaint against Ferolino-Ampoloquio for failing to immediately release the decision, saying she was liable for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

There was also nothing wrong about releasing her separate opinion on the Marcos disqualification case, Guanzon added, noting that she has the copyright to that decision and she can release it anytime.

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"The important thing is I am doing this in the nation's interest," Guanzon said. "Ako naman, fair. Sana naman huwag na kayong nakikialam dito. Kasi ganun din, aakyat din sa Supreme Court."

The Comelec second division earlier ruled to dismiss the petition seeking to cancel Marcos' candidacy for president, clearing one roadblock to his bid for the country's highest position in May.

The poll body also junked another case seeking to declare Marcos a nuisance candidate.


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