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Bongbong Marcos absent from Comelec's pre-conference on DQ cases due to exposure to COVID-19

By AYIE LICSI Published Jan 07, 2022 3:54 pm

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.

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.

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.