THE Commission on Elections on Thursday granted the request of the camp of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for additional time to submit its position on a petition for cancellation of the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of the presidential aspirant.

In his Twitter account, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez confirmed the Comelec Second Division decided to give Marcos until next week to respond to the petition, the first of three petitions  that have been filed against him by separate groups.

“Getting word that Comelec 2nd Division, just now, issued an extension in the cancellation case against former senator Marcos. 5 days. But since the 5th day falls on a Sunday, last day is actually 22 November,” Jimenez said.

The poll body has yet to announce if the extended period for Marcos to reply will affect the schedule of the preliminary hearing on the case by the Comelec Second Division on November 26, 2021.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Vic Rodriguez, the spokesperson of Marcos, said they got word of the extension last Wednesday.

He also revealed former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza will serve as the legal representative of Marcos in the hearing of the petition.

Theodore Te, the lawyer of the petitioners, questioned the decision of the Comelec Second Division, saying the deadline for the submission of Marcos’s position had already lapsed last Tuesday.

He noted that Marcos got the notice from the Comelec Second Division to respond to their petion last November 11, 2021 and was directed to respond within 5 days after it.

“Petitioners reminded the Comelec that the consequences of granting respondent’s motion for more time would be for the Comelec to flout its own rules, which the Supreme Court had already ruled in previous instances as grave abuse of discretion,” Te said in a statement.

Te is representing Fr. Christian B. Buenafe, Fides M. Lim, Ma. Edeliza P. Hernandez, Celia Lagman Sevilla, Roland C. Vibal and Josephine Lascano.

The group of petitioners wants Marcos’s COC to be cancelled or denied due course by Comelec after he was convicted for violating the National Internal Revenue Code and making false claims in his COC.

Aside from the case filed by Buenafe et al, Marcos is also facing similar cancellation cases from Tiburcio Marcos’s group,

Marcos is also faced with a petition from Danilo Lihaylihay to have him declared as a nuisance candidate, and a disqualification case from Bonifacio Ilagan et. al.

Image courtesy of Roy Domingo/BM

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