THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) does not expect to resolve all electoral lawsuits, including one that seeks to disqualify the only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, at a particular date and would take its time as needed, its spokesman said on Monday.
“I’ve said it over and over again that it will take as long as it takes,” Comelec spokesman James B. Jimenez told reporters at an online news briefing. “We don’t have expectations on that,” he said in Filipino.
Mr. Jimenez also declined to speculate how long the disqualification case against former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., who is running for president, will drag on once it gets appealed at the Supreme Court.
It took the high tribunal sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal five years to resolve Mr. Marcos’s election protest against Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo. He lost to her by a hair in 2016.
There are at least nine petitions seeking to disqualify Mr. Marcos from the presidential race.
Meanwhile, the Comelec spokesman said postponing the 2022 elections to 2025 would violate the Constitution.
The Coalition for Life and Democracy has asked the body to halt the May 2022 elections to 2025 because of a coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Jimenez said the year was a typographical error and the group had wanted the Comelec to defer the elections to 2023. This would still be unconstitutional, he added.
He said the Comelec had released at least 30 resolutions to different parties and was still working on 70 more orders. He expected the body to release all resolutions by Dec. 13.
In a related development, Mr. Jimenez said candidates for 2022 must have their social media accounts verified before they can put out political ads to ensure accountability.
The Comelec wants to ensure that people get their information from a credible source. While a verified account could still be used to spread fake news, at least the owner could be held responsible, he added.
He said anyone who objects to the policy could write to the commission to complain. “The people who are claiming to be disadvantaged over this, they already got verified,” he added. — Jaspearl Emerald G. Tan