Comelec to hear petition vs Marcos on Nov. 26 | Inquirer News
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‘MATERIAL MISREPRESENTATION’

Comelec to hear petition vs Marcos on Nov. 26

/ 04:51 AM November 16, 2021

Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will hear the petition to cancel the certificate of candidacy (COC) of presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Nov. 26.

The Comelec’s Second Division set the schedule for the conference when it issued the summons to Marcos last week.

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Elaiza David, director of Comelec education and information department, said the hearing would be conducted by video conference.

Marcos has five days from receipt of the summons to formally respond to the petition filed on Nov. 2 by activist groups during the dictatorship of his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos.

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The petitioners said Marcos made a “material misrepresentation” in his COC by claiming he was eligible to run when in fact he had been convicted of tax offenses in 1995, which disqualified him from voting or seeking public office.

The conference on Nov. 26 may be attended by the parties themselves or by their lawyers.

Afterwards, the parties will be given three days to submit their memoranda containing their arguments and evidence.

David said there was a protocol for when the division has to resolve cases brought before it.

“There’s the protocol but the commissioners of that division might need more time to resolve it. We can’t say [when it will be resolved]. Hopefully, within the year,” she told reporters on Monday.

The petitioners have pointed out that the 1997 National Internal Revenue Code Section 253 penalizes public officials and employees who are convicted of tax offenses with perpetual disqualification from voting and holding public office.

Marcos was convicted by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court in 1995 for failure to file income tax returns and pay income taxes from 1982 to 1985 while he was governor of Ilocos Norte during his father’s martial law regime.

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The Court of Appeals in 1997 upheld the conviction and the fines imposed by the trial court but removed the seven-year prison term.

The conviction became final after Marcos withdrew his appeal before the Supreme Court in 2001.

The petition was filed by Fr. Christian Buenafe, cochair of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines; Fides Lim, chair of Kapatid-Families and Friends of Political Prisoners; Ma. Edeliza Hernandez, executive director of Medical Action Group; Celia Sevilla, secretary general of Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance; Roland Vibal, official of Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates; and Josephine Lascano, executive director of Balay Rehabilitation Center Inc.

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