Final Decision on Stop-Marcos Cases Out in April, Comelec Says

Just before May 9 elections.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

The Commission on Elections will come up with its final verdict on the pending cases against presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos before the end of April, a poll official said Thursday.

Commissioner George Erwin Garcia said Comelec Chairman Saidamen Pangarungan assured him of en banc decision on the Marcos cases before the end of April, in time for the May 9 elections.

"Therefore, these cases, the consolidated cases as well as the cases with the most important consideration will be decided before the elections," Garcia said, noting that the decision could even come out by the second week of April at the earliest.

The Comelec divisions earlier handed their decision to six of the seven petitions filed to block Marcos' presidential candidacy, all of which were in favor of the late dictator's son.

Of the six cases that have been resolved in the division level, five are on appeal before the Comelec en banc. A disqualification petition against Marcos, filed by a group of Ilocanos, remains pending before the poll body's Second Division.

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Most of the petitions alleged that Marcos is "perpetually ineligible" to run for public office for failure to file income tax returns and pay income taxes from 1982 to 1985.

On Monday, the Akbayan party-list, one of the petitioners, urged the Comelec to expedite the resolution of the disqualification case it filed against Marcos.

"Any further delay is already a gross disservice to the voting public and our electoral system and favors Marcos Jr's grand fakery. The Comelec has no other recourse but to disqualify Bongbong Marcos," said Akbayan party-list's first nominee Percival Cendaña.

"Its decision will go a long way in ensuring that the public not only chooses wisely, but that it does so based on the rule of law and the integrity of our electoral democracy," he added.

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