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Guanzon says she voted for Marcos DQ, hints at camps causing delay of decision


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Believing that there has been an "unreasonable delay" in the Commission on Elections First Division's  decision on the  disqualification case of former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Commissioner Rowena Guanzon has decided to release her opinion on the case to the public.

In an interview with GMA News at the UP College of Law where she graduated, Guanzon said her opinion was to disqualify Marcos.

"Kaya nga ito nangyayari lahat eh dahil ang boto ko is DQ (disqualified) si Marcos Jr. Sa tingin ko may moral turpitude talaga based on evidence and the law. I will not keep it a secret. That is the reason why this is happening," Guanzon said.

Guanzon, who is set to retire on February 2, said she already submitted her opinion on the case to the two other commissioners of the First Division— Aimee Ferolino and Marlon Casquejo—and other commissioners of Comelec.

She named Ferolino as the ponente in the case.

Guanzon said she received information that there were efforts to influence the commissioners. 

"Parang unreasonable na yung delay. Ang kutob ko talaga may nakikialam na eh. May nakikialam na. Some people are trying to influence the commissioners. Yun ang ayaw ko," Guanzon told GMA News.

When asked if this was just a hunch, Guanzon said, "Malakas ang kutob ko based on information eh. 'Tsaka pag sinabi ko naman ang pangalan nila baka masyado pang maaga. Baka sa Lunes sasabihin ko pag hindi pa ito lumabas."

"Ayoko po talagang bigyan ng malisya yung ponente pero sinabi ng commissioner kahapon sa meeting namin, eh bakit yung ibang na-raffle after pa sa Marcos nailabas naman?" she added without naming who between Ferolino and Casquejo had been tasked to write the decision.

Guanzon said it was in the interest of all parties to resolve the case early.

Asked if the delay had something to do with her retirement next week,  Guanzon said, "I already said that that the reason is because my vote is to DQ."

"So to knock out my vote they think  they can invalidate it by releasing the decision of the ponente after I retire which cannot happen because I already submitted my separate opinion to all of them including the chair and all of the commissioners," Guanzon said.

"That should already be on the record that I voted already. The vote should be counted by the next presiding commissioner after me," she added.

Guanzon said she wanted to leave the Comelec with her last case already resolved. 

"I am appealing to them huwag na po kayong makialam para mailabas na ng ponente ang desisyon bukas. Last day na po sa Monday...Magulo na yan pag sa Monday pa nilabas. Conflict na talaga yun. Binigay ko na lahat ng chance and understanding," Guanzon said.

"Tapos na po ako. Tinapos ko na ang trabaho with integrity and with strength of character and faith in the Filipino people," she added. 

Sought for comment on Guanzon's remarks, Ferolino said, "I'm afraid I cannot comment on the matter because it might be against the sub judice rule."

GMA News is still trying to get Casquejo's side.

Marcos' spokesman Atty. Vic Rodriguez said, "We will wait for the decision to come out and until then any statement made are all speculative."

Atty. Howard Calleja, a lawyer for the petitioners, said, "We are deeply concerned being the counsel, this announcement of Commissioner Guanzon does not sit well to the independence and neutrality of the Comelec."

"We do want to believe in their mandate to uphold free, fair, honest elections but hopefully this case should be decided fairly without delayt or eny external pressire and/or influence," Calleja said. —NB, GMA News

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