MANILA, Jan 20 (Mabuhay) — An official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday shrugged off claims that they are delaying the resolution of the disqualification cases against presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., to allegedly favor one party.

“So it is not correct to say that we are delaying in order to favor one party,” said First Division Presiding Commissioner Rowena Guanzon in a Facebook live video.

At the same time, she added that the cases filed against the former senator which are pending before the First and Second Divisions have different grounds.

“The case that was filed in the second division, the only issue is whether Marcos Jr. made a false statement or false material representation. The case we are handling, those are disqualification cases, the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy has different grounds, they have different disqualification grounds according to the law,” she added.

Guanzon said in case the respondent has been disqualified, he can be substituted.

“He can be substituted as long as the substitute belongs to the same party and has the same last name. They do not have to be related as long as they have the same last name and the same political party. The cancellation of COC, no substitution, in disqualification there is substitution before noon of May 9, 2022 provided that they belong to the same political party and surname,” she added.

Guanzon, however, said the rulings of the division are still appealable to the Commission en banc.

Earlier, Guanzon said the ruling on the disqualification cases filed by Bonifacio Ilagan and others, Akbayan party, and Abubakar Mangelen is set to be out by the middle of January.

However, Comelec Education and Information Department director Elaiza David on Monday said the draft of the decision is not ready yet as some staff members of one of the commissioners handling the case contracted coronavirus.

On Monday, the poll body’s Second Division denied the petition filed by Fr. Christian Buenafe, among others to cancel the COC of Marcos for lack of merit. (MNS)

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