‘Penalty lang’: Marcos camp insists there’s no need to declare tax case in COC
MANILA, Philippines — The camp of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who is shooting for the presidency in the 2022 polls, insisted that there is no longer a need to declare his tax case conviction in his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president since he was only asked to pay a fine.
“You really don’t have to declare because it does not involve the penalty involving moral turpitude, fine nga lang. Penalty lang, ‘yung penalty na ‘yun pagka hindi ka nagbayad, hindi ka rin makukulong doon, may utang ka lang sa gobyerno,” Marcos’ chief of staff and spokesperson Atty. Victor Rodriguez told Teleradyo on Thursday.
“Wala talagang basis,” he said, referring to a petition filed before the Commission on Elections, asking the poll body to cancel Marcos’ COC for president in the 2022 elections due to his 1995 conviction in a tax case.
The camp of Marcos Jr. earlier said the petition is a “predictable nuisance” disqualification case and is nothing more than a mere “propaganda.”
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“Hindi rin tayo nagdedebate, in fact, wala nang debate. The case has been litigated from RTC (Regional Trial Court) all the way up to the Court of Appeals (CA) until meron ngang judgement na magbayad ka ng fine,” Rodriguez continued.
Further, he said that his boss “did not evade payment of taxes.”
“Ang kaso lang naman ay non-filing of the income tax return not non-payment of tax due…He just failed to file his income tax return kaya nauwi doon sa payment of a very, very small amount of penalty,” he added.
But to recall, Marcos was convicted by the Quezon City RTC Branch 105 on July 27, 1995, for failure to file income tax returns and pay income taxes from 1982 to 1985. He was sentenced to serve a total of seven years in prison and ordered to pay a fine for several counts of violation of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC).
Marcos then appealed the case to the CA, which ruled in 1997 upholding the RTC conviction but modified the punishment by removing the prison term and merely imposing a fine.
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“That’s why hindi talaga [kailangan ideklara], ‘pag binasa mo ‘yon kinakailangan idedeklara mo, if you have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. Wala nga eh, bakit mo idedeklara?” Rodriguez said.
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