Comelec Flags Marcos Press Release on Disqualification as 'Misleading'

It should be taken in the proper context, poll body says.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

The Commission on Elections on Wednesday flagged the camp of former Sen. Bongbong Marcos for claiming that the poll body found no clear case to disqualify him in the presidential race.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez refuted the press release from Marcos' camp which quoted him as saying that the petition by civil society groups to cancel the former senator's candidacy for president had no clear basis.

The press statement from Marcos read: "Jimenez noted that in order to be disqualified, a candidate must have been convicted of a crime constituting 'moral turpitude,' or an offense with at least an 18-month jail term."

It also quoted Jimenez as saying that Marcos "doesn’t meet this criteria. Right now there is no clear case for disqualification.

The quote was lifted from an interview with OneNews, which took place in the morning of Nov. 2 before the petition to stop Marcos' candidacy was filed with the Comelec.

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"The PR is misleading. The quote was referring to why Sen. Marcos hadn’t yet been disqualified despite the fact of his conviction," Jimenez told reporters on Viber.

"That quote was not intended in any way as a comment on the current petition recently filed," Jimenez said, adding his statement should be taken in the context of Marcos' unsuccessful run for vice president in 2016.

The petition alleged that Marcos was ineligible to run for any public office as a Quezon City court in 1995 found him guilty of failure to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985.

The National Internal Revenue Code 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."

It added that Marcos' certificate of candidacy contains "multiple false material representations" when he claimed that he was eligible to run for president despite being disqualified to do so.

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While Marcos' camp has yet to formally answer the allegations, the former senator said it would not hinder him from pushing through with his presidential bid.

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