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Comelec Junks Disqualification Cases vs. Bongbong Marcos

Based on petitions that cited his tax case.
by Erwin Colcol
Feb 10, 2022
Photo/s: Ted ALJIBE / AFP

(UPDATE) The Commission on Elections First Division has dismissed consolidated petitions seeking to disqualify Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos from the 2022 presidential race, clearing another roadblock in his bid to the Malacañang in the May 9 polls.

Citing "lack of merit" the First Division denied the petition from a group of martial law survivors led by Bonifacio Ilagan, the Akbayan partylist, and a faction of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas led by Abubakar Mangelen, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said.

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The petitions alleged that Marcos is "perpetually ineligible" to run for public office as he was found guilty of failure to file income tax returns and pay income taxes from 1982 to 1985. This leaves just one remaining disqualification case against the only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Those convicted of violating tax regulations are "perpetually disqualified from holding any public office, to vote and to participate in any election," according to Philippine law.

Although the Comelec first division ruled to disqualify Marcos, the former senator can still appeal the decision before the Comelec en banc, Jimenez earlier said. 

"The bottomline is, whatever the decision of the division is, it would be safe to not assume that it is final," he added.

If the petition for disqualification is granted with finality, Marcos can be substituted by another candidate, provided that he or she has the same surname.

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The release of division's ruling came a week after its former presiding officer, former Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, retired from the poll body. Guanzon, who voted to disqualify Marcos, claimed that the decision was deliberately being delayed.

The Comelec Second Division earlier dismissed a petition seeking to cancel Marcos' candidacy for president. The poll body also junked two other petitions that sought to declare Marcos as a nuisance candidate and to cancel his certificate of candidacy alleging that he was only an impostor.


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