Guanzon eyes impeachment complaint vs Ferolino; seeks re-raffle of Marcos case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 1)— Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon is considering filing an impeachment complaint against fellow official Aimee Ferolino for the delayed release of the resolution on the disqualification cases against Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos.

"I will wait for the next election. Because you know, since she is for Bongbong Marcos, if he wins what's the use of me filing an impeachment complaint?" Guanzon told a forum organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines on Tuesday.

Guanzon did not explain further, but in a later interview with CNN Philippines, she said Ferolino's action violates Section 3 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

"This is betrayal of public trust," she said.

The Constitution states that Comelec commissioners are impeachable officers. Ferolino, who was appointed in November 2020, will serve in the poll body until 2027.

'Defeating our votes'

Guanzon, the presiding commissioner of the First Division handling the consolidated petitions against Marcos, also threw fresh allegations against Ferolino during the forum.

She said the delayed release of the ruling would mean "defeating" her and Commissioner Marlon Casquejo's votes.

Guanzon, who had voted to disqualify the son of the late dictator from the May polls, is set to retire this week. Casquejo, meanwhile, is expected to transfer to the poll body's Second Division.

"So it's not just my vote that's being defeated by our junior member - both senior commissioners' votes are being defeated because this way, we cannot cast our vote. Why? Because Commissioner Casquejo is moving to the Second Division as presiding commissioner and therefore cannot vote starting Feb. 3," Guanzon explained.

"Maybe they suspect also that Commissioner Casquejo's vote is a DQ (disqualification)," she added, but stressed that she still does not know the latter's decision.

Guanzon also said Ferolino was able to work on other cases assigned to the First Division even though the petitions against Marcos were raffled first.

"We took note that there were cases that were raffled after Marcos and yet she was able to release them and have me and Commissioner Casquejo sign it. So, her delay is really unacceptable, and under our rules, it's only 15 days," she said.

Guanzon likewise reiterated her claim that there may be a "powerful" personality meddling in the case. "If she was not paid or bought off, she should already release her resolution," she argued.

Ferolino has yet to issue a reply to Guanzon's new comments, but the commissioner earlier refuted claims she's intentionally delaying the release of the resolution, saying she was working "well within the timeline."

'Re-raffle the case'

After Guanzon's retirement, Commissioner Socorro Inting is set to take her post as presiding commissioner of the First Division.

And with movements expected, Guanzon called on the poll body to re-raffle the case — and let another commissioner pen the much-awaited decision.

"Because there is this reshuffling of commissioners, this case should be re-raffled. It should no longer be in Commissioner Ferolino's hands," Guanzon said.

"She already lost the privilege of writing a draft resolution, while the two of us are in office. It should be re-raffled so that another commissioner of the First Division will be handling, writing the draft resolution."

In the CNN Philippines interview, Guanzon also questioned Ferolino's competence, saying the junior commissioner "doesn't have legal practice experience in the court" after passing the Bar exams.

"That's the trouble, eh. That's why the reform I want is for constitutional commissioners to go through, pass the Judicial and Bar Council for interview and testing…These problems can be avoided by vetting by the Judicial and Bar Council," she added.

Guanzon earlier released her separate opinion on the Marcos case, where she cited the former senator's non-filing of income tax returns, among others, as ground for disqualification.

READ: Guanzon on Marcos' DQ cases: Non-filing of ITR constitutes moral turpitude, 'serious defect' in moral fiber