Press Release
December 14, 2015

Drilon urges Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista:
Decide on DQ cases vs. presidential bets ASAP

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today urged Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista to convene immediately the Comelec en banc in order that they can decide on the pending disqualification cases against presidential aspirants Senator Grace Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as soon as possible.

If unresolved, Drilon said it will pose serious threats to fair and credible elections next year.

"To ensure the conduct of a free, fair and credible election next year, I am calling on Chairman Andres Bautista and the members of the Commission on Elections to rule at the soonest on the petitions against Poe and Duterte on the basis of the merits presented by the parties involved," said Drilon.

"The election is a basic tenet of democracy and any threat to it should be immediately resolved by the Comelec, being the sole body that has a Constitutional mandate to supervise the conduct of a free, fair and credible election in the country," he stressed.

"Chairman Bautista should fulfill his patriotic duty and lead the Comelec in immediately providing a fair resolution to the petitions," he added.

Drilon said that the early resolution of the petitions against Poe and Duterte will give the Supreme Court sufficient time to review and urgently render its verdict on the cases.

"Whatever the Comelec's decision on the cases may be, I am sure that these will be brought before the Supreme Court for its final decision on the matter. The prompt action of the Comelec will give the high tribunal enough time to put these cases to rest," said Drilon, a former Justice Secretary.

"It cannot be left hanging. The earlier the poll body can decide, the better it will be for the country," he added.

Drilon also said that the continuing uncertainty over the lack of resolution over these cases creates unnecessary political tensions.

He further said that there are groups that would take advantage of the inability of the Comelec to immediately resolve the petitions to spread lies and disrupt the conduct of peaceful and credible elections in the country.

"The talks of election delays are nothing but a part of sinister efforts peddled by certain quarters that are out to put a doubt on the minds of the public regarding the 2016 elections. We must not to fall into that trap," Drilon said.

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