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Why Comelec's Guanzon is Pushing for Ruling on Bongbong Marcos Disqualification

Guanzon wants the case settled before her retirement in Feb. 3.
by The reportr team
Jan 31, 2022
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon on Monday pressed her colleagues in the poll body to release the ruling on the disqualification case against presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos.

Survivors of torture and other human rights violations under the regime of the presidential aspirant's late dictator father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., sought to block his candidacy citing his past tax case.

Here's what we know about the case that could change the course of the 2022 elections:

Guanzon's vote wouldn't count should the decision be released after Feb. 2.

The poll body commissioner, who voted to disqualify Marcos, is set to retire on Wednesday, Feb. 2, three months before the 2022 elections.

Should the decision be released after she steps down, her vote wouldn't count. She is one of three members of the First Division that will vote on the case.

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She also questioned why it is taking too long to write a decision when she did it in three days.

Guanzon claimed a "powerful" person is influencing commissioners to delay the decision.

Guanzon claims interference from parties whom she didn't name was causing the delay in the decision that was supposed to have been released Jan. 17.

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"Parang unreasonable na 'yung delay. Ang kutob ko talaga may nakikialam na. Some people are trying to influence the commissioners," she said.

In a Jan. 28 tweet, she asked if Marcos ordered George Briones, his party's lead counsel, to attack her personally while his case was pending.

Guanzon urged the ponencia or author of the decision, Comelec Commissioner Aimee Ferolino-Ampoloquio, to release the resolution on Monday, Jan. 31. She also challenged Ferolino to "resign" with her before she steps down "since the integrity of the Comelec is now in question."

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Ferolino denied she was delaying the resolution.

Guanzon said Marcos' non-filing of income tax returns constitutes moral turpitude, which forms grounds for disqualification.

By failing to file his income tax returns for four years straight, "he deprived the government of the chance to ascertain whether what were withheld correctly corresponded with what he earned," she said in her separate opinion released on Monday.

"I find that respondent's repeated and persistent non-filing of income tax returns in 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985, which resulted in his conviction, constitutes an offense involving moral turpitude," said Guanzon.

Moral turpitude was defined by the Supreme Court as "anything that is contrary to justice, modesty, or good morals, and depicts baseness, vileness or depravity", she said.

She also said his consistent failure to file his tax returns while holding office "clearly shows that his acts can no longer be casually considered as mere omissions" and it is "reflective already of a conscious design and intent to avoid a positive duty under the law and intent to evade the taxes due."

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Guanzon said Marcos failed to settle his taxes and penalties in the right court.

While Marcos settled his taxes and penalties in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), he failed to pay them in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 105 which convicted him of tax evasion. She said this meant he has yet to serve his sentence.

Marcos was also unable to show proof that he served his sentence and paid the fines to the issuing court as the officer-in-charge has no record of his payment, she said.

Guanzon also said that the receipt that Marcos showed was not machine validated, and that the BIR certification he presented did not indicate what the payment was for. An erasure on the date of issuance was also not counter-signed, which she found "unusual" coming from a bank.

"It appears that the respondent inexplicably bypassed RTC Branch 105 altogether in serving his penalty. Again, this raises doubts on Respondent's alleged service of his penalty."

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Marcos' party, Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, earlier asked the Comelec to investigate Guanzon for publicizing her vote to disqualify him ahead of the official ruling's release.


Bongbong Marcos Not a Degree Graduate of Oxford University: Filipino Alumni

Those Marcos Videos on TikTok are Rooted in Decades of Misinformation 

Marcos Party Wants Comelec's Guanzon Probed for Revealing Vote to Disqualify Him

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