Estelito Mendoza, lawyer of presumptive president Bongbong Marcos, on Friday stressed that the Supreme Court (SC) has no jurisdiction to prevent Congress from canvassing votes and proclaiming the 9 May elections winners.,Mendoza argued that the “terms of the Constitution are explicit and clear” that the incumbent president shall end his term of office after six years, and that a new president shall start his term on 30 June at 12:00 p.m.,“They are to be followed as provided in the Constitution in text and in language,” Mendoza said in a television interview.,“The Congress has no jurisdiction to determine the questions raised in the petition for review, on the decision of Commission on Elections (Comelec), as to the validity of a certificate of candidacy (CoC). That is a matter vested in the Comelec, there is no provision stating the SC can intervene on that issue,” he claimed.,He said that petitioners, who are claiming that Marcos had committed material misrepresentation in his CoC, can file an election protest after the canvassing of votes and proclamation of winners.,“That will have to be done through an election protest. Not at this time, but at this time, the Constitution provides step by step what shall be done with the votes that are cast in the election,” Mendoza argued.,This, after petitioners led by former SC spokesperson Theodore Te asked the high court to prevent both chambers of Congress from canvassing the votes pending the resolution of their petition to cancel Marcos’ CoC.,SC gave Marcos, the Comelec, Senate, and House of Representatives 15 days from their receipt of notice to file their comments on both the petition and the plea for TRO.,In Mendoza’s manifestation submitted to SC, he invoked that Section 4 Article VII of the Constitution provides that the candidate who garnered the highest number of votes in the elections “shall be proclaimed elected”.,In their original petition before Comelec, Te’s camp alleged Marcos committed material false representation when he claimed under oath in his CoC that he is eligible to run for president despite his previous tax conviction.,The Comelec First Division and later the en banc had junked Te’s petition to cancel Marcos’ CoC.,Marcos’ camp, through its spokesperson lawyer Vic Rodriguez, earlier noted that the Comelec has already junked the disqualification cases in both the division and en banc level, expressing the SC will rule in their favor.,Based on partial, unofficial results of the 9 May polls, Marcos is the leading presidential candidate with 31.1 million votes. He was followed by Vice President Leni Robredo with 14.8 million votes.,Marcos’ running mate, Sara Duterte-Carpio, is also leading the vice-presidential race with 31.6 million votes and was followed by Robredo’s running mate, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan with 9.2 million votes.,Congressional leaders eye to proclaim the new Philippine president and vice president by 27 May at the earliest.
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