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Partido Federal wants Guanzon probed, sanctioned for 'illegal' disclosure of DQ vote

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Partido Federal wants Guanzon probed, sanctioned for 'illegal' disclosure of DQ vote
This undated file photo shows Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon. Her division at the commission handles three disqualification suits against presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Partido Federal ng Pilipinas on Friday called on the Commission on Elections to investigate Commissioner Rowena Guanzon for disclosing her vote on the pending disqualification suit against their presidential bet Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

Lawyer George Briones, PFP general counsel, said Guanzon should be "disbarred, with forfeiture of her retirement benefits and lifetime pension" for "illegally" disclosing her vote on the disqualification petition against Marcos pending before the Comelec’s First Division.

“The [PFP] requests the Comelec En Banc to conduct an administrative investigation immediately against [Guanzon]” for alleged violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics and Code of Judicial Conduct before her retirement benefits are released,” Briones said.

Guanzon on Thursday said in two TV interviews that she voted to disqualify —which also means a vote to grant the petitions — Marcos. She also hinted that there is a “powerful” individual intervening in the release of the main ruling.

'Undue interest'

Briones said Guanzon’s announcement, done ahead of the promulgation of the division's decision, put her fellow commissioners "in a cloud of suspicion" with her allegation that a politician is intervening in the case.

Briones however wrongly claimed that Guanzon submitted her ponencia, since the commissioner only said in her TV interviews that she filed her opinion. In another part of the statement, the PFP lawyer claimed Guanzon leaked her "dissenting" opinion, but it is yet unknown whether the commissioner’s vote to disqualify Marcos is dissenting since the main resolution or ponencia has yet to be promulgated.

The PFP lawyer also accused the Comelec commissioner of showing "undue interest" in the case with her disclosure of her vote. “To the extent that she will forfeit her retirement benefits and lifetime pension to support the candidacy of Vice President Leni Robredo who the petitioners in this case openly support speaks of how deep she (Guanzon) is interested in this case,” he added.

Briones also said Guanzonn should have inhibited herself in the disqualification cases supposedly because she was appointed to her post by then-President Benigno Aquino III and that she was appointed as OIC mayor in Negros Occidental during the post-EDSA administration of President Corazon Aquino.

"Suspicion of being warped by political bias will attach to a judge who becomes an active promoter of the interests of one political party against another, Commissioner Guanzon’s mad rush to come out with a decision of the first division bares her true color which is yellow," he added.

To note, the division has yet to promulgate its main decision.

Guanzon explained that she voted to disqualify Marcos because she thinks there is “moral turpitude based on evidence and the law,” among the grounds to disqualification under the Omnibus Election Code.

Contempt

Guanzon hit back at Briones and challenged the PFP lawyer to a debate on TV.

In a series of tweets, the Comelec commissioner also said Partido Federal is diverting the issue. “Ilabas na ni [Commissioner Aimee] Ferolino ang resolution. Ang talo mag-motion for reconsideration,” she said.

(Commissioner Ferolino should release the resolution. The losing party will file a motion for reconsideration)

“Alam ba ni [Marcos] that Partido Federal is threatening me, the presiding commissioner while his case is pending? Baka e contempt ko kayo ipakulong ko kayo sa Manila City Jail,” she added.

(Does Marcos know that Partido Federal is threatening me, the presiding commissioner while his case is pending? I might cite you in contempt, send you to Manila City Jail.)

Guanzon also said the Comelec en banc has no jurisdiction over an administrative complaint against a commissioner because she is an impeachable officer.

"You people better study. Let’s debate on TV," she added.

2022 ELECTIONS

2022 POLLS

BONGBONG MARCOS

COMELEC

ROWENA GUANZON

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