Comelec rejects petition to declare Marcos a harmful bet

(1st UPDATE) Little was expected that the case filed by Danilo Lihaylihay – once declared a harmful candidate by Comelec – would prosper, and this was just one of many petitions against Marcos’ candidacy in 2022. .

The Election Commission (Comelec) rejected the very first complaint filed against the presidential candidacy of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., saying the petitioner had failed to prove that the late dictator’s son was a harmful candidate.

The case filed in October by aspiring presidential candidate Danilo Lihaylihay – who was declared by Comelec to be a harmful candidate in 2016 – was hardly expected to prosper, and it was just one of many petitions aimed at blocking Marcos’ attempt at the presidency.

“The Respondent (Marcos) does not fall into any of the three types of harmful candidates. Consequently, the request in the present case must be rejected ”, declared the 2nd division of Comelec in its judgment of 16 December.

There are three cases in which a candidate for public office may be considered an unwelcome candidate:

  • They intend to deride or discredit the electoral process.
  • They seek to confuse voters by the similarity of their names.
  • They have no real intention of running for office.

Lihaylihay’s petition claimed that Marcos sought to deride or discredit the electoral process “because his goal was primarily to have his family back politically to Malacañang,” but the electorate dismissed this as “general statements. “And” unfounded assertions “.

“No inference can be made that the respondent’s act of tabling his COC for the president derides or discredits the electoral process,” said Comelec’s 2nd Division.

Comelec also said Marcos had “sufficiently established” that he had good faith intentions to run for president, citing previous elective positions he held, the political party that will run for 2022 and his favorite status in the pre-election. surveys.

The electoral body also “noted with disdain” that Lihaylihay did not attach a copy of Marcos’ certificate of candidacy to his petition which seeks to timely deny the former senator’s COC for the presidency.

“How could we undo something that is not in the records of this case?” To put it bluntly, the petitioner’s evidence is woefully insufficient as the COC he sought to cancel was not even attached to the petition, ”wrote Chairman Commissioner Socorro Inting.

Lihaylihay has a curious background. In the past, he has tried unsuccessfully in court to force the government to pay him for his alleged efforts to reclaim ill-gotten wealth from the Marcos family.

Marcos spokesman Vic Rodriguez said on Saturday (December 18th) that “the closing of the case is awaited because it is one of the multiple requests for nuisance filed”. against presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos.

“We have always maintained that there is no legal basis for canceling the nomination certificate or disqualifying Uniteam presidential contender Bongbong Marcos,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

Not finished yet for Marcos

Despite Comelec’s decision on the Lihaylihay case, the legal challenges against Marcos’ 2022 race are far from over.

There are still at least six unresolved petitions to the electoral body – two of them to quash its COC and four cases of disqualification.

The petition filed by civic leaders, whose lawyer is former Supreme Court spokesman Ted Te, is expected to be resolved soon, after Comelec ordered both sides in the case to submit final documents necessary before the matter is considered resolved. –

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