MANILA, Apr 11 (Mabuhay) — The Commission on Elections will release its decision on the disqualification cases against presidential contender Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. this week at the earliest, an official said Monday.

Comelec commissioner George Garcia made the remark after a set of petitioners again pressed the poll body to finally rule on their case following what they dubbed as “undue delay.”

“As we have pronounced 1 week or 2 weeks before, we have said we’ll be able to come up with a decision either this week, [at] the earliest, or the third week of April,” he said.

The Comelec will base its ruling only on “evidence presented so far,” Garcia said, when asked if the poll body would also consider Marcos’ estate tax liabilities as evidence.

“Unless there will be new petitions before the Comelec, any evidence at this point, it’s already in the motion for reconsideration stage. If any evidence can be accommodated, still it should be filed at the division level,” he said.

The presidential bid of Marcos, the survey frontrunner, is considered so far the most legally-contested in the country’s recent election history.

His camp has repeatedly said that all the cases against him are “political trash,” lodged by “political assassins,” intended to block his presidential bid

The poll body will decide on “major cases” before the May 9 elections and expedite petitions for exemption from the election spending ban, Garcia added.

“Everyday we’re signing resolutions, we’re promulgating decisions. As far as major cases are concerned, even before the elections, everything will be disposed of,” he said.

Petitioners need rulings from the division and en banc before they can elevate the case before the Supreme Court, which is the final arbiter of the case.

Last week, the Comelec agreed to exempt fuel subsidy for public utility vehicle drivers from the election spending ban, Garcia noted.

The poll body also granted the petition for exemption of the social welfare department for calamity funds, he added, as typhoon Agaton swamped parts of Visayas and Mindanao.

“Just file immediately, even if it’s not yet complete, kahit ‘di complete ang documents, evidence (even if documents, evidence are not yet complete), file it. We will take action on it immediately, I promise you that,” he urged local officials. (MNS)

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