Marcos still part of the ballot despite pending cases – Comelec

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 18) — The name of presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos will still be part of the ballot for the May polls despite his pending cases before the Commission on Elections.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Source on Tuesday, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenes said the poll body has already prepared the ballot face, with Marcos' name included in the roster of 10 aspirants vying for the top post.

"What happened yesterday was we released the final ballot face for the national candidates, we already have what the ballot will look like with all of the names that will be included in the final ballot," Jimenez said.

"Yes, nandoon ang pangalan ni Bongbong Marcos (the name of Bongbong Marcos is there)," he added.

Jimenez noted that aside from the 10 presidential aspirants, the names of nine vice presidential aspirants, 64 senators, and 178 party-lists will be included in the ballot, which will still be printed back-to-back.

RELATED: 10 presidential aspirants remain in Comelec's tentative 2022 roster 

The Comelec will print the final version of the ballot around the 20th, two days after the virtual walkthrough of the ballot printers at the National Printing Office on Tuesday, he added.

The basement of the office has been dedicated exclusively to the printing of around 1.1 million ballots per day.

Comelec Deputy Executive Director Helen Aguila-Flores said the last set of ballots will likely be printed on April 12 to 21, days before the May 9 polls.

The poll body said it is looking to tap a pool of reserve workers in case its existing manpower will be affected by the COVID-19 surge.

"Kung bibilangin po natin yung araw magmula ng January 20 ay hanggang mga first week of April lang yan, kaya na sana but again, we are realistic in anticipating contingencies including na po yung COVID surge and infection of our workers," Aguila-Flores said.

[Translation: If we will count the days from January 20, it will only be up to the first week of April but again, we are realistic in anticipating contingencies including the COVID-19 surge and infection of our workers.]

The poll body is expected to print a total of 67,442,714 ballots, 65,745,512 of which will be for the local voters, while 1,697,202 will be dedicated to overseas voters.

Four disqualification petitions challenging Marcos' bid — three consolidated pleas and one plea from an Ilocano group — are still pending before the Comelec' First and Second Division, while three other challenges to his candidacy have been dismissed.

RELATED: LIST: Petitions against Bongbong Marcos' 2022 presidential bid 

The first plea seeking to cancel his bid was dismissed yesterday, ruling that there was no ground to cancel Marcos' COC on the ground of material misrepresentation. Petitioners will appeal the decision to the Comelec en banc.

Another petition seeking to cancel his candidacy and a plea to declare him as a nuisance candidate were also dismissed earlier.

Marcos is the son and namesake of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted in a "people power" revolt in 1986.