Guanzon: Delay of DQ case 'a grand design' in Marcos' favor

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 2) — Retiring Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said Wednesday that further delaying the decision on the disqualification cases against Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos is part of a "grand design" that will eventually help him retake Malacañang regardless of the outcome of the case.

She argued that such plot should work in Marcos' favor as it is likely that the result of the national election will precede the official decision on the case, thus, allowing him to sit as president of the republic if he does win the public vote.

"There is a grand design to delay it, because they already probably know he is going to be disqualified given the evidence," Guanzon told CNN Philippines' The Source.

Marcos is so far the leading contender in pollster surveys on preferred candidates.

"They want to delay it so that he will win and then hopefully he can sit and then even if the Supreme Court will disqualify him a year after the elections…he can still sit," she added.

Guanzon is officially retiring on Wednesday midnight with two other commissioners. Without the decision, her vote favoring the petitioners to disqualify Marcos due to his tax conviction will be invalidated.

She said she has been telling some friends, including Marcos loyalists, that it might be better for the presidential aspirant to be disqualified ahead of the elections and let at least someone like his wife Liza take his place to still secure the country's top post.

"Sinasabi ko sa kanila in public it's better that he should be disqualified before the elections so his wife can substitute, and voters willl not be confused," Guanzon explained. "Kasi they voted for him, yun pala he's disqualified hindi pala siya uupo. They will be frustrated."

[Translation: I tell them in public that it's better that he should be disqualified before the elections so his wife can substitute and voters will not be confused. If they voted for him, and eventually he will be disqualified and will not sit, they will be frustrated.]

She added that a lot can happen even if Marcos takes the seat even for at least a month, especially with the Presidential Commission on Good Government tied to his office. The commission is tasked to recover the ill-gotten wealth of his family under the regime of his father and namesake, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Guanzon has been throwing tirades against fellow Commissioner Aimee Ferolino, the ponente of the case, over the delayed release of the resolution.

She teased, "Ang tanong ko nga kay Commissioner Ferolino, bakit ayaw mo ilabas? Anong gagawin mo dyan, gagawin mong bagoong yan?

(Translation: "I asked Commissioner Ferolino, why don't you put it out? What will you do with that, turn it into fermented fish?")

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez earlier said that for now, Marcos can participate in the campaign period pending the decision. If he gets disqualified before he can be proclaimed president, votes to his name will be considered stray votes and will not reflect in the canvassing tally.

However, if Marcos secures the presidency but gets disqualified after, he will be removed from office and the vice president may take over his post.