MANILA – A petitioner in one of the disqualification cases filed against presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to immediately decide on its pending motion for reconsideration (MR).

In a letter submitted to the Comelec, the Akbayan party-list said it is only proper for the poll body to issue its ruling since “this decision is not just about one candidate.”

“It lies at the heart of what it means to have an election, and thus determine the future of our nation,” read the letter signed by Akbayan Party-list nominees Percival Cendaña and Raymond John Naguit.

With only 49 days left before the May 9 elections, the group said the issue should be resolved as “this could rob many Filipinos of the ability to choose from a genuinely qualified list of candidates, and completely contaminate and debase their votes.”

"We, the undersigned members of Akbayan Party-list, respectfully request the release of the Comelec en banc's decision on our pending disqualification case against fake presidential candidate Marcos," the group said.

The petitioner believed there is no reason for the release of the ruling to be delayed as Comelec’s seven-man panel en banc is already complete.

“Our case rests on the solid fact that Bongbong Marcos was convicted of tax evasion while he served as Governor of Ilocos. The penalties for his crime clearly state that he should be disqualified from holding public office. This alone is reason enough for the Comelec to disqualify Marcos Jr.,” it said.

It added that the Comelec has the responsibility to ensure that only qualified individuals will be able to run for the highest post in the land.

In a statement on Monday, Comelec chairman Saidamen Pangarungan assured the public that they are carefully studying all the petitions filed before them.

“This Wednesday, 23 March 2022, we will be having our En Banc session and the letter of Akbayan and all other letters/motions of the same nature can be included in the agenda,” he said.

During the last en banc session, Pangarungan said he has already issued a directive for the speedy disposition of all cases pending before the Commission. 

Earlier, the First Division of the Comelec unanimously dismissed Akbayan’s petition for disqualification against Marcos for lack of merit.

The group filed an MR claiming that the former senator must not be allowed to run in May for being convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude when he failed to file his income tax returns (ITR) for four years. (PNA)