Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos failed to attend the Commission on Election's (COMELEC) preliminary conference on disqualification cases filed against him due to exposure to two COVID-19 positive individuals, according to a medical certificate presented to the election body.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that the First Division waited for over an hour for the medical certificate, needing the document to prove the case for the former senator's absence during the proceedings held on Jan. 7.
Please be advised: the @COMELEC First Division is waiting for the presentation of the Medical Certificate of former Senator Marcos Jr. Upon presentation of the said Certificate, the preliminary conference can proceed.— James Jimenez (@jabjimenez) January 7, 2022
A medical certificate was later presented, and according to it, Marcos had a fever of 37.8 degrees Celsius, sore throat, and body malaise. He had recently been in direct contact with two individuals who turned out positive for COVID-19—his spokesman Vic Rodriguez being one of these.
LOOK: Ferdinand "Bongbong Marcos' medical certificate issued by Aegle Wellness Center. | via @kristinepatag— Philstar.com (@PhilstarNews) January 7, 2022
Marcos is currently in isolation after being exposed to two COVID-19 positive individuals. pic.twitter.com/tmVVtQzkq4
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon noted that Marcos failed to attend the conference even via Zoom. According to his lawyer, he couldn't appear on video due to "risk of exposure." His absence could submit the case for resolution.
Marcos faced three disqualification cases during the proceedings, including petitions from Abubakar Mangelen, Akbayan, and Bonifacio Parabuac Ilagan. Mengelen's case against Marcos was submitted for resolution after he and his lawyers failed to attend the pre-conference.
Guanzon directed both camps to submit their final responses to the petitions within 48 hours or on Jan. 9.
As the proceedings commenced, #DisqualifyBBM and #DisqualifyMarcos trended on Twitter with over 18,800 and 12,000 tweets, respectively, as of writing.