Comelec grants Marcos extension to answer cancellation bid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 18) — The Commission on Elections' Second Division has granted the camp of former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. an extension to file its response to the cancellation bid on Marcos' candidacy for president.

The Comelec order dated Nov. 10 released on Thursday stated there was a justification to the Marcos camp’s request for an extension. It added that the petition to cancel his certificate of candidacy was still “pending determination.”

The poll body gave Marcos until Monday, November 22 to answer to the plea.

Hours earlier, Comelec spokesperon James Jimenez said there was still no promulgation on Marcos' motion for extension, refuting the statement of Marcos' spoksperson Vic Rodriguez.

In an interview with CNN Philippines' The Source on Thursday morning, Rodriguez said the presidential hopeful was granted a seven-day extension by Comelec to respond to the first petition filed on Nov. 2 seeking to cancel his candidacy due to his tax conviction when he was vice governor and governor of Ilocos Norte.

"It was approved yesterday," Rodriguez said. "We were given an extension of time to file our answer to the petition. The first petition I think on the cancellation of the COC (certificate of candidacy). We were granted seven days from yesterday."

Lawyer Theodore Te, counsel for the petitioners in the Nov. 2 bid, disagreed with the Comelec order, saying they will register their disagreement with the commission.

Te earlier pointed out that Rule 23 Section 4(6) of the Comelec Rules of Procedure and Supreme Court stresses the "non-extendible" deadline within the five-day period to file an answer.

Marcos is facing at least two petitions seeking cancellation of his candidacy, a petition for disqualification by martial law victims and rights advocates, and another petition seeking to declare him as a nuisance candidate.

The Comelec's Second Division has set the preliminary conference on Nov 26 for the first petition after issuing the summons to Marcos last week.