Comelec’s Guanzon calls on all fellow commissioners to resign

Commissioner Rowena Guanzon challenged all collegues in the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to resign following her allegations that another commissioner is being influenced by a high government official to delay the release of the resolution on the petition to disqualify former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. from the presidential race.

In a gathering at the Manila Cathedral on Monday morning, the commissioner said, “Sirang-sira na kayo riyan. Sabay-sabay tayong mag-resign ngayon!” (You are all comprised. Let us all resign now!)

Guanzon added that her duty is to protect the public from disqualified candidates .

The gathering coincided with Guanzon’s deadline to fellow Comelec Commissioner Aimee Ferolino to submit her draft of the First Division’s decision on the petition to disqualify Marcos Jr. as presidential candidate.

Guanzon is First Division chief and the supervising commissioner of the hearings on the petition.

The feisty commissioner earlier revealed that Fedelino is unduly delaying the division’s decision, alleging further that a nationally-elected official is exerting influence on her colleague.

Guanzon explained that if the decision is released after she has retired on Wednesday, February 2, her vote to disqualify Marcos would be nullified.

She revealed last Friday that her vote was to disqualify Marcos Jr. on the grounds of moral turpitude, having been convicted twice of tax evasion.

Guanzon added that Marcos Jr. has not paid the penalty for his crimes with the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, paying other kinds of arrears instead with the Bureau of Internal Revenue through the Landbank.

Fedelino on the other hand wrote last Friday to Comelec chairperson Sheriff Abbas, asserting there was no delay in the release of the resolution.

Fedelino explained that the lawyer assigned to write the resolution had been sick with the corona virus.

She also denied Guanzon’s claim that the original deadline for the resolution was January 17.

Popular sentiment among cause-oriented groups favor Guanzon, however.

‘Stand with Guanzon’

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said it stands with Guanzon in disqualifying Marcos as well as her decision to reveal the delay in the release of the poll body’s decision on the said petition.

“Commissioner Guanzon is right to disqualify Marcos from the presidential race. She is also right to assert her vote amid the obvious efforts to delay the release of the resolution until she retires and her vote is excluded. We stand with Commissioner Guanzon in her fight to ensure the integrity of the Comelec,” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said.

In a statement, Bayan said it supports calls for an investigation the on the high government official alleged to be influencing the poll body.

“Why is there no outrage nor alarm in the Comelec? Why is there no probe up to now? If the Comelec can be influenced this way in favor of Marcos, what does that say of its impartiality in presiding over the elections?” Reyes asked.

Bayan said not since the “Hello Garci” incident involving former President Gloria Arroyo has the Comelec faced such a serious crisis, now that one of its own has cried foul over maneuverings that seemingly favor a candidate.

“We call on the Comelec First Division to issue the resolution. We call on the Comelec to investigate the politician allegedly trying to influence the Comelec. We call in the public to stand with Commissioner Guanzon,” Bayan pressed. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

‘Who is this politician trying to influence the Comelec?’

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) welcomed Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon’s stand to disqualify Bongbong Marcos from running as president.

“We welcome the position taken by Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon in the matter of disqualification of Bongbong Marcos on the grounds of moral turpitude,” BAYAN said.

The group also raised concerns over the claim of Guanzon about a politician trying to delay the issuance of Comelec’s decision after knowing her stand on the issue.

“Who is this politician trying to influence the Comelec? Shouldn’t there be an investigation by the en banc and shouldn’t this politician be cited for contempt?” BAYAN asked.

“She is correct in citing Marcos Jr’s repeated failure to pay taxes and the corresponding fines as her basis to disqualify him from the presidential race. We raise concern over Guanzon’s claim that a certain politician was trying to delay the issuance of a decision by the Comelec First Division after learning of her vote to disqualify Marcos. Who is this politician trying to influence the Comelec?”Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)

Election commissioner Guanzon reveals threats from ‘Satanas’ Cardema

Election commissioner Rowena Guanzon accused former youth commissioner Ronald Cardema of issuing threats against her following the cancellation the latter’s nomination as the group Duterte Youth’s representative to the 18th Congress.

“[A]nother threat. “NAGMAMALINIS KA PA, IKAW DIN ANG MAY GAWA…SATANAS!” Guanzon said on her Twitter account Tuesday afternoon, August 6.

Guanzon tagged Cardeman’s Twitter handle in her post, adding “@RonaldCardema you will still deny this is from your gang of thugs?”

Guanzon’s tweet Tuesday afternoon.

Guanzon did not elaborate on the new threat.

Last July 18, Guazon announced receiving a threat via an anonymous text, saying “kapag inipit mo pa din kame at di pa din kame nakaupo ilalabas namin part 2 ng series mo at papakasohan ka pa namen.”

The First Division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) granted petitions by various groups to cancel Cardema’s nomination, announced by Guanzon on her Facebook account last Monday, August  5.

“[T]his Commission reiterates its unmistakable conclusion based on facts, law and jurisprudence, that Respondent Ronald Gian Carlo L. Cardema is not eligible for nomination to represent Duterte Youth in the House of Representatives,” the decision reads, signed by Guanzon and fellow commissioner Marlon Casquejo.

Casquejo wrote the decision, Guazon revealed in another tweet.

In yet another tweet, Guazon added that the circumstances surrounding the withdrawal of all five Duterte Youth nominees and the subsequent nomination of Cardema speak resoundingly of a clear attempt not just to circumvent the law and the rules, but also to hide from the electorate Cardema’s ineligibility as nominee.

Cardema has yet to reply to Guanzon’s tweets.

In a statement, the Comelec Employees Union condemned the new threat against Guanzon.

“We say hands-off Commissioner Guanzon. We call on all parties concerned to respect the decision of the Comelec 1st Division,” the union, through its president Mac Ramirez, said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)