MANILA — Commissioner Christian Robert Lim, head of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division, said on Monday the poll body has not issued an order dismissing the disqualification case filed by John Paulo Delas Nieves, chairman of the University of the Philippines (UP) Student Council, against presidential aspirant and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
In an interview at the sidelines of the public consultation on the Implementing Rules and Regulation for Republic Act No. 9006 or the Fair Elections Act, Lim said that they will tackle the issue together with the other two disqualification cases on Tuesday.
“Just to clarify on the Nieves petition, the First Division has not yet issued any order dismissing the Nieves petition for failure of the petitioner to appear or his counsel to appear during the preliminary conference. We have to take that up. It’s still ongoing,” Lim said.
He added, “Up for consideration whether we will consider it submitted for resolution or we still continue with the hearing scheduled tomorrow (Jan. 12) for the Nieves petition.”
Lim said that the petition is set for hearing on Tuesday together with the cases filed by nuisance candidates Rizalito David and Atty. Eli Pamatong.
“It’s calendared, the Nieves, David and Pamatong petitions are scheduled for hearings tomorrow for the First Division.”
As to consolidating the cases, he said, “We are going to issue the order for that.”
Last month, the Comelec First Division composed of Lim and Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Luie Guia as members already conducted a hearing on the first disqualification case filed against Duterte by broadcaster Ruben Castor.
The petitioners claimed that the PDP-Laban presidential bet had no bona fide candidate to substitute for since the Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for President of Martin Dino is materially defective and is, therefore, invalid. PNA / northboundasia.com