Civil society groups who petitioned Comelec unsuccessfully to cancel presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s candidacy have elevated the matter to the Supreme Court, asking the tribunal to stop his proclamation.
The case stemmed from Marcos' 1995 conviction for failure to file his income tax returns and pay his income tax dues from 1982 to 1985, which makes him ineligible to run for public office, the petitioners claimed.
They cited the National Internal Revenue Code which provides that any person convicted of a crime penalized under the tax law will be "perpetually disqualified from holding any public office, to vote and to participate in any election."
The petitioners said Marcos' COC contained "false material representation" when he declared that he was eligible for the office he was running for and that he was never found liable for any offense that carries the penalty of perpetual disqualification to hold public office.
"In view of respondent Marcos Jr.'s material misrepresentations in his COC, this court must cancel or deny due course his COC declaring the same void ab initio," they said.
"Consequently, respondent Marcos, Jr. must be deemed to have never been a candidate from the very beginning, his candidacy invalidated, and the votes attributed to him considered stray," they added.
The petitioners also called on the Supreme Court to issue a temporary restraining order to stop Congress from canvassing votes for Marcos, saying that it is the only remedy available to stop lawmakers from "allowing a candidacy that should never have been to ripen into a presidency of an ineligible candidate."
Apart from the petition to cancel COC, the Comelec also earlier dismissed three cases to disqualify Marcos from running for president. These petitions may also be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Marcos is headed to a landslide win in the presidential elections after garnering over 31 million voters in the partial and unofficial Comelec tally.