Another DQ case vs. Bongbong Marcos now at SC
MANILA, Philippines — A second petition that challenges the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) decision refusing to disqualify presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has reached the Supreme Court.
Like the first petition, the second petition is also asking the SC to temporarily stop the Senate and House of Representatives from proceeding with the canvassing of votes for President and Vice President which is expected to start next week.
But unlike the first petition, the second petition moved further by stating that in the event that Marcos Jr. is disqualified as a candidate, the candidate to be considered with the highest number of votes to assume as the next President of the Philippines is Vice President Leni Robredo.
Petitioners said Marcos Jr.’s certificate of candidacy is considered void from the beginning given that he was convicted by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court or his failure to file his ITRs and pay the taxes due.
The Comelec, in its February 2022 ruling which was affirmed by its en banc this month maintained that failure to file income tax returns is not inherently wrong and does not constitute moral turpitude.
The poll body’s former First Division said failure to file tax returns only became punishable when the Tax Code was enacted.
But petitioners said that the 1977 Tax Code specifically Section 286 which covers the case of Marcos Jr. states that if the person penalized by the code is a public official or employee “the maximum penalty prescribed for the offense shall be imposed and, in addition, he shall be dismissed from the public service and perpetually disqualified from holding any public office, to vote and to participate in any election.”
“Consequently, his continued evasion of sentence by not paying the fines imposed by both the trial and appellate courts constitute a moral turpitude violation under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code,” the petitioners said.
“Verily, the non-service of his sentence by his not paying of the fines imposed by the Regional Trial Court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals necessarily renders his ineligibility subsisting,” they added.
Given that he is disqualified, petitioners said the votes for Marcos Jr. should be considered stray votes and should not be counted.
“We stand by the principles of truth and justice. As a fruit of a poisonous tree, no victory can be attained through lies and deceit. A disqualified and convicted candidate remains as such and no election can overshadow that,” Atty. Howard Calleja said.
He added that “in order for us to move forward as one nation we have to implement our laws without fear or favor. Justice need not be popular it has to be fair, right, and implemented
equally to everyone.”
Atty. Calleja is joined at the Supreme Court by members of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law and martial law victims.
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