Marcos, petitioners not required to attend preliminary meeting

The parties on the disqualification case filed against presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. are not required to attend in the preliminary conference, Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez said on Tuesday.

“This is not going to be a John Grisham scene. The lawyers won’t be engaging in words. This will not be LA Law. This will simply be procedural,” he said in a virtual briefing. “This is not the fireworks that some people might be expecting. Let us just manage expectations in that regard.”

During the preliminary conference, Jimenez said counsels for the petitioners and respondent will only present themselves as lawyers for the parties.

He added that the proceedings will give the parties the chance to define the issues that they feel should be resolved in the case.

Meanwhile, Jimenez said the number of attendees in Friday’s meeting will be limited due to the surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in Metro Manila which was placed under more stringent Alert Level 3 status.

He said only a few people, excluding the members of the media, will attend the preliminary conference by the First Division at the Comelec Session located at the 8th Floor of the Palacio del Gobernador building in Intramuros, Manila.

“We won’t be doing it in person considering that a lot of people are coming down with coughs and colds. I think it is safer for everyone,” Jimenez said.

He said the proceedings will be live streamed via the Comelec’s Facebook page so that the public will be able to witness the meeting on the Akbayan Party versus Marcos case.

Comelec First Division head Commissioner Rowena Guanzon will be presiding the preliminary conference of the petition seeking to disqualify Marcos from running in the May 2022 polls.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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