MANILA, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Petitioners seeking to bar Ferdinand Marcos Jr from the Philippines presidency said on Friday they were bent on keeping “autocratic figures” from power and would use all legal channels to stop the election frontrunner, including the Supreme Court.
Complainants failed to convince the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to disqualify Marcos, 64, the son and namesake of the late Philippines dictator, on the grounds of his decades-old conviction for tax violations. Commissioners on Thursday said the petitions lacked merit.
Loretta Ann Rosales, a petitioner and one of thousands of victims of state brutality under the 1970s-1980s martial law of the elder Marcos, said opponents were ready to appeal to the highest court.
“All measures must be used to stop autocratic figures from winning in the polls that would contribute to the destruction of democratic rule,” she said.
Opponents of political veteran Marcos see the prospect of his family returning to the presidential palace decades after it was overthrown in a people’s revolt as unpalatable.
Vic Rodriguez, spokesperson for Marcos, said the petitioners should respect courts and quasi-judicial bodies “by not elevating lies that they have peddled”.
The Supreme Court was required to rule on a high-profile case before the last election in 2016, involving then presidential frontrunner, Grace Poe.
It reversed COMELEC’s decision to disqualify Poe over questions about her citizenship. Poe finished third overall.
Howard Calleja, a lawyer for one of the petitioners, will next week file a motion asking the full bench of COMELEC to overturn the ruling of its first division.
He said the decision “does not put the disqualification to a close, but further cast doubt not only on the case but on the COMELEC as well.”
(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Martin Petty)
((email@example.com; +632 841-8938;))
This article originally appeared on reuters.com