Comelec 2nd division to handle petition to cancel Marcos' presidential bid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 10) — The petition to cancel the candidacy of presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has been raffled off to the Commission on Elections' second division.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez on Tuesday said summons is set to be released this week.

"The case has been raffled to the 2nd Division," he said. "Owing to the large number of cases on the docket, no summons for this particular case has been issued yet, but is expected within the week."

After the summons is served, the Marcos camp will be given five days to respond to the petition, followed by a pre-conference. After that, both parties get three days to submit their final responses before the division issues a ruling.

In case of a split vote, Jimenez said another commissioner will come in to settle the matter.

"There will be a guest member, so to speak, of the division," he said in a media briefing on Wednesday.

Either party to the case may file a motion for reconsideration for the division's decision to the seven-member Comelec en banc. If further appeals are made, it will be forwarded to the Supreme Court.

Earlier this month, civic leaders appealed to Comelec to cancel Marcos' certificate of candidacy for the 2022 polls.

They argued that the former senator and namesake of the late dictator is not qualified to run for public office.

The petitioners cited Marcos' conviction back in 1995 over multiple failures to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985.

Another group, led by litigation lawyer Howard Calleja, filed another petition against Marcos this week.

Comelec did not disclose the commissioners assigned to second division. Three of the five commissioners were appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Comelec is eyeing to resolve the petition by December. If the poll body decides to cancel Marcos' COC, this means he cannot be substituted, Jimenez pointed out.

CNN Philippines correspondent Melissa Lopez contributed to this report.