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Comelec urged to fast-track Marcos resolution

Comelec urged to fast-track Marcos resolution

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PALACIO del Gobernador, the place the Comelec holds workplace — PATRICK ROQUE

By John Victor D. Ordoñez

A PARTY-LIST group on Monday requested the Fee on Elections (Comelec) to fast-track its resolution on a lawsuit that seeks to disqualify the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos from the presidential race this 12 months.

“We see no purpose for the Comelec to additional delay the decision of this case, particularly that the membership of its en banc is now full,” the Akbayan Celebration-list group stated in a letter.

“Any additional delay is already a gross disservice to the voting public and our electoral system and favors Marcos, Jr.’s grand fakery,” it added, referring to former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr.

The Comelec full courtroom has but to determine on a number of circumstances searching for to disqualify Mr. Marcos from the presidential election.

Akbayan, one of many plaintiffs, earlier requested the election physique to disqualify the previous lawmaker after a trial courtroom convicted him of tax evasion within the Nineteen Nineties. The case is on attraction with the Comelec full courtroom.

The group’s petition was considered one of three consolidated lawsuits junked by the Comelec First Division, because it dominated that Mr. Marcos’s failure to file his tax returns within the Nineteen Eighties didn’t contain depraved, deviant habits.

The Second Division rejected the same petition in January, which dominated that Mr. Marcos didn’t mislead the general public when he stated in his certificates of candidacy that he was eligible to run for president. The case can also be on attraction with the en banc.

Martial legislation victims earlier requested Comelec to additionally resolve the same lawsuit, noting that delaying the case may result in issues, particularly with the Could 9 elections nearing.

The election physique has reorganized its divisions after President Rodrigo R. Duterte appointed new members.

Newly appointed Comelec Chairman Saidamen B. Pangarungan final week stated the en banc would fast-track the decision of the lawsuits.

Akbayan additionally cited the Bureau of Inner Income’s affirmation that the Marcos household has but to pay billions of pesos of property and earnings taxes as an “pressing and compelling” purpose to disqualify Mr. Marcos.

“The Comelec has no different recourse however to disqualify Bongbong Marcos,” the group wrote. “Its resolution will go a great distance in making certain that the general public not solely chooses correctly, however that does so primarily based on the rule of legislation and the integrity of our electoral democracy.”

In the meantime, political analysts stated Comelec ought to wrap up its investigation of a knowledge breach involving Smartmatic SGO Group, the software program contractor for this 12 months’s automated elections, no later than April to protect the integrity of the elections.

Final week, Senator “Imee” R. Marcos stated Smartmatic information had been breached, which she stated may compromise this 12 months’s elections.

Some shedding candidates may use this “ammunition” to assert fraud, stated Hansley A. Juliano, a former political science professor learning at Nagoya College’s Graduate College of Worldwide Improvement in Japan.

“It could be greatest if Comelec and the Nationwide Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are wrapped up inside the month or no later than April as a result of we’re really anticipating the Could 9 outcomes to be hotly contested,” he stated in a Fb Messenger chat.

“It’s going to be tough for whoever wins — regardless in the event that they win by a cushty margin — since it’s going to at all times forged a shadow all through their tenure,” he added.

The Manila Bulletin in January reported on the hacking, which led to the investigation. Delicate voter data may need been compromised after a gaggle hacked the servers of Comelec, downloading greater than 60 gigabytes of information, it stated.

Comelec spokesman James B. Jimenez earlier stated the Comelec system had not been hacked.

Ms. Marcos famous that regardless of the denial of the hacking, the media was proper. It was reported {that a} Smartmatic worker had taken his laptop computer out, permitting a sure group to repeat information. A hacking syndicate may need been concerned, she added.

“This challenge, if not resolved by the fee as early as attainable, could have extreme repercussions on individuals’s belief and confidence in Comelec,” Marlon M. Villarin, a political science professor from the College of Santo Tomas, stated in a Viber message.

Election Commissioner George M. Garcia earlier stated Comelec would anticipate the NBI to ship a full report back to the company.

Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III stated that the Senate would collaborate with election and technical consultants to research the safety breaches.

“Contemplating that the marketing campaign is already very bitterly contested, I don’t anticipate not less than the High 3 frontrunners to take that mendacity down come Could 2022,” Mr. Juliano stated.

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