The Akbayan partylist on Tuesday asked Comelec Commissioner Aimee Ferolino-Ampoloquio to inhibit herself from the deliberations on disqualification petitions against Bongbong Marcos as they assailed the resolution she wrote dismissing the cases.
Akbayan urged the Comelec en banc to reverse the decision of the first division that junked their petition to stop Marcos' candidacy.
The group also asked include the opinion of retired Commissioner Rowena Guanzon to disqualify Marcos, but which was not counted because she retured before the decision was released.
Ferolino-Ampoloquio, who was the designated ponente or writer of the decision, should not participate in these deliberations, the group said, citing public statements made by Guanzon on her credibility and integrity.
Guanzon earlier claimed that the release of the decision on the Marcos disqualification cases was deliberately being delayed --- which Ferolino denied --- and that a "powerful" person was influencing the commissioners handling the case.
“We appeal to the sense of decency and integrity of Commissioner Ferolino to inhibit herself from further participation in this case. Huwag na natin dagdagan pa ang duda at nawawalang tiwala ng mamamayan sa proseso ng ating halalan," Akbayan second nominee RJ Naguit said.
Akbayan said Marcos should be "perpetually ineligible" to run for public office as he was found guilty of failure to file income tax returns and pay income taxes from 1982 to 1985, but the first division dismissed their petition for "lack of merit."
"[Marcos'] tax evasion conviction and his continuing attempts to deceive the public are stains that won’t wash away. These will haunt him throughout the campaign. We will pursue this to the end and ensure a just conclusion to the case," said Akbayan first nominee Percival Cendaña.
Akbayan also argued that the first division may have violated Comelec's own rules when it issued a decision with only two actively serving commissioners.
When the decision was promulgated on Feb. 10, only Ferolino-Ampoloquio and Commissioner Marlon Casquejo's votes were counted as Guanzon, the division's former presiding officer, retired on Feb. 2.
“The Comelec's rules provide that a division shall be composed of three commissioners. As such, the decision issued on the petitions may be void as it was issued by a Division that was not validly constituted, there being only two commissioners left," Cendaña said.
"Had they issued the resolution when the division was still validly constituted by three Commissioners, then it would have been a valid resolution," he added.
The Comelec has yet to respond to a request for comment on this matter as of posting.
Apart from the disqualification cases, the Comelec second division earlier ruled to dismiss the petition seeking to cancel Marcos' candidacy for president. The poll body also junked another case seeking to declare Marcos a nuisance candidate.