The release of the decision on three disqualification cases against Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will be delayed after several staff members from the Commission on Elections' first division tested positive for COVID-19.
Comelec director Elaiza Sabile-David said the personenel who contracted COVID-19 are part of the office of the commissioner who would write the decision on the petitions seeking to disqualify Marcos.
"So magkakaroon muna talaga ng delay sa paglabas ng desisyon sa promulgation," she said in a TeleRadyo interview.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, the division's presiding officer, earlier said that the ruling on the disqualification petitions would be released on or before Jan. 17.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that while they are still waiting for the first division's announcement, the chances that the decision would be released before the day ends is "getting more and more unlikely."
Aside from Guanzon, the other members of the first division are Commissioners Marlon Casquejo and Aimee Ferolino-Ampoloquio.
The Comelec first division has consolidated the disqualification petitions filed by a group of martial law survivors led by Bonifacio Ilagan, the Akbayan party-list, and a faction of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas led by Abubakar Mangelen, which means there will only be one ruling on these cases.
The first two petitions alleged that Marcos is "perpetually ineligible" to run for public office as he was found guilty of failing to file income tax returns and pay his income taxes from 1982 to 1985.
Mangelen, who introduced himself as the duly elected chairman of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, also said in his petition that Marcos' nomination as the party's standard-bearer was “unauthorized, defective, invalid and void."
Earlier in the day, the Comelec second division denied another petition seeking to cancel Marcos' certificate of candidacy, clearing one roadblock to his bid for the country's highest position in May.
The poll body earlier dismissed a petition to declare Marcos as a nuisance candidate and another petition to cancel his certificate of candidacy alleging that he is only an impostor.