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Group files complaint vs Guanzon

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star
Group files complaint vs Guanzon
This undated file photo shows Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The anti-corruption group Citizens Crime Watch has sued former Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Rowena Guanzon for “unlawfully divulging confidential information” in the disqualification case against then presidential aspirant and now president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

In an 18-page complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman yesterday, the group, represented by its chairman Ferdinand Topacio and president Diego Magpantay, said Guanzon must be held liable for two counts each of violating Section 3 (k) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, disclosure and misuse of confidential information under Section 7 (c) of RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and the revelation of secrets by a public officer under Article 229 of the Revised Penal Code.

Section 3 (k) of RA 3019 prohibits a public official from divulging “in advance of its authorized release date” any valuable information of a confidential nature obtained by him or her on the account of his or her position.

The complaint stemmed from an interview with GMA News on Jan. 27, 2022 wherein Guanzon disclosed that she voted to grant the petitions to disqualify Marcos from the May 9 presidential elections. She said then that there was a deliberate effort to delay the decision on the petitions so that her vote would not be counted as she was to retire on Feb. 2.

Guanzon was the then presiding commissioner of the Comelec First Division, which handled the disqualification petitions against Marcos.

The complainants also cited Guanzon’s interview with Rappler’s online show “Rappler Talk” on Jan. 28 wherein she identified Commissioner Aimee Ferolino as the assigned ponente or author of the decision, which at the time had yet to be officially released by the First Division.

The complainants said Guanzon’s actions “severely damaged the reputation of her fellow commissioners and tarnished the integrity of the Comelec.”

“Guanzon’s actuations are desperate ploys in her attempt to remain relevant in the sensational disqualification cases while her other foot was already out of the proverbial door in view of her impending retirement,” the complaint read.

“Thus, Guanzon’s previously detailed actions were done in furtherance of her own private purposes at the expense of prejudicing public interest, the credibility of the Comelec and her fellow commissioners,” it added.

COMELEC

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