Marcos will be on 2022 ballot for 1.7 million overseas voters

FORMER SENATOR Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

MANILA – Former senator and   Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will be part of the final list of candidates for the May 9, 2022 polls, at least for the 1.7 million overseas Filipino voters for now.

This was disclosed by Comelec – Education and Information Department Director Elaiza David on Monday, January 17, adding said the name of the former senator will be on the official ballot since other cases against him have yet to be resolved.

“Since his cases are still pending and the ballot faces are already ready, we are expecting to see him (Marcos) on the ballot,” David said in a virtual press briefing.

“The official list is finalized. His (Marcos) name is there [on the ballot for overseas workers],” David said. Overseas Filipinos can vote for the president, vice president, 12 senators and one party-list representative only.

Five petitions to cancel Marcos’ certificate of candidacy and disqualify him from the polls are still awaiting resolutions.

Two petitions have already been dismissed by the Comelec Second Division for lack of merit.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in case a candidate is disqualified before the elections but after the ballots have been printed, “obviously the name will remain on the ballot”.

In the event Marcos’ party, Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, will not be able to substitute him in case of a disqualification, all votes for Marcos will be invalid, he said.

“Any vote garnered by that name on the ballot will be considered stray,” Jimenez said.

In case there will be a replacement, all votes will be credited to the substitute, who must have the same surname.

“It’s not necessarily a member of the family, but he/she has to have the same surname,” Jimenez said.

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Marcos Jr.’s fate

decided by Jan. 17

By Beting Laygo Dolor, Editor

MANILA – Whether he can proceed with his quest to become President of the Philippines like his father before him, or be forced to abandon his dream will be known by next week.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is expected to decide if the three disqualification proceedings against former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. are valid or not no later than Monday, Jan. 17 (Manila time).

Posting over Twitter, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said they will “promulgate its resolution on the disqualification cases against presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on or before Jan. 17.”

“If not too risky,” she added, “we will read it in the Session Hall, on live stream.”

It is not clear what effect his failing to attend last week’s hearing will have on his case, or if the insult aimed at the poll body by Marcos Jr’s lawyers will be held against him.

What is clear is that after the Comelec rejected two of the earlier disqualification and/or cancellation of his certificate of candidacy cases, the ongoing case has moved forward.

The strongest case against Marcos Jr. questions his COC which opponents claim was submitted under false pretense, since the presidential candidate made no mention of the tax evasion case filed against him, which he lost.

As such, he is deemed to be a convicted criminal, and his reported payment of his back taxes along with penalties for late payment does not erase his culpability.

How the feisty Commissioner Guanzon will vote is unknown, but she has reacted strongly to insinuations that she and her colleagues have been less than fair.

Taking to social media, she posted: “Our decision isn’t out yet an (sic) already some hound dogs are out.”

“Don’t dare me,” she warned, then switching to the vernacular said the critics’ boss would end up in tears if they pushed her too far.

Earlier, Guanzon crossed swords with Marcos Jr’s spokesman, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, who had questioned the independence of the Comelec commissioners.

She replied: “Who is that lawyer who said we Comelec commissioners must assert our independence? Why, are we lame? Atty. Rodriguez, don’t you diminish us.”

If the Comelec’s first division votes to disqualify Marcos Jr., the seven commissioners will then vote en back to affirm or reject the decision.

Should they affirm the decision, however, Marcos Jr’s last hope will lie with the Supreme Court, which could reverse the Comelec decision.

The poll body had earlier submitted for resolution the disqualification case against Marcos Jr. that had been filed by Abubakar Mangelen, who said he was the duly elected chairman of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinos, which recruited the son and namesake of the late dictator as its presidential standard bearer.

Mangelen said the PFP’s issuance of a certificate of nomination of acceptance to Marcos Jr. was “unauthorized, defective, invalid and void.”

Two other disqualification cases against Marcos Jr. filed by martial law survivors have been consolidated, and a decision is also forthcoming.