Commission on Elections 1st Division presiding commissioner Rowena Guanzon said Wednesday, January 26, that her separate opinion (vote) on the case that seeks to disqualify Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. from running for president in May is ready and she will release it on Friday or at the latest Monday before she retires on February 2.
She said the resolution of the case has been delayed because the “ponente” or the 1st Division commissioner tasked to write it has not finished it yet.
Guanzon, who is from Cadiz City in Negros Occidental, is set to retire from the COMELEC on February 2 after serving as commissioner for seven years.
She said the two other commissioners of the First Division must submit or sign their vote on the resolution of the “ponente”.
Guanzon said she does not have control of everything, as she is not the ponente in the case.
The ponente assigned to prepare the resolution said it was delayed because the lawyer she assigned to do it tested positive for COVID-19 and she had to also quarantine because she was a close contact.
Guanzon, in a live statement on Facebook Wednesday, said she understands why some people are anxious because the case was raffled off on January 10, and it has been 16 days already with no resolution.
Under their internal rules a resolution should be out in 15 days, she said.
In fact the internal agreement of the commissioners of the 1st Division was for it to be finished in seven days, she said.
“We are meeting in banc to remedy this,” she said.
Guanzon said she is working on having zero backlog cases before she retires on February 2.
She hopes the Marcos disqualification case will not be an exemption but she is not the one tasked to write the resolution. The quarantine period of the commissioner tasked to do it has ended so let’s give her a couple of days to submit it so we can vote on it, Guanzon said.
Guanzon said her separate opinion was finished on January 17 and the other commissioners know what her vote is.
She did not disclose how she is voting in her live statement.
“I have it now but I am waiting for the ponente to release her vote and resolution,” Guanzon said.
But Guanzon also said she will release her separate opinion on Friday or Monday.
The disqualification case pending before the 1st Division was filed by Bonifacio Ilagan and other Martial Law survivors against Marcos.
Guanzon is the remaining appointee of the late president Benigno Aquino III in the 1st Division, the two other commissioners are appointees of President Rodrigo Duterte.*