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Comelec Asked to Stop Bongbong Marcos Candidacy, Petitioners Cite Tax Evasion

Civil society, human rights victims say 1995 conviction makes him ineligible.
by Erwin Colcol
Nov 3, 2021
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

(UPDATE) Civil society groups on Tuesday asked the Commission on Elections to cancel the certificate of candidacy for president filed by former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, citing his conviction for tax evasion in the 1990s.

The petitioners, representing political detainees, human rights and medical organizations, alleged that Marcos was ineligible to run for any public office as a Quezon City court in 1995 found 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."

The Court of Appeals upheld the decision, which was not challenged before the Supreme Court, making it final. The CA modified the lower court's decision, imposing a fine instead of prison time.

"While it was improper for the Court of Appeals to disregard the penalty of imprisonment in the conviction of respondent Marcos Jr., the absence of any appeal therefrom only confirms the incontestable fact that [he] is a convicted criminal," the 57-page petition read.

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The petitioners also claimed 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.

Marcos' conviction for tax evasion also constitutes a crime involving "moral turpitude," which disqualifies him from being a candidate for any office under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code, the petitioners said.

In response, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, Marcos' spokesperson, said they would address this "predictable nuisance petition" at the proper time and forum, when they receive an official copy.

"Until then, we will refrain from commenting on their propaganda. Our camp does not engage in gutter politics. Our campaign is about nation building," he added.

Continue reading below ↓
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The only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos is running for president with a vision of unifying the country towards pandemic recovery.

"I will bring that form of unifying leadership back to our country. Hangad kong ibalik ang mapagkaisang paglilingkod na magbubuklod sa ating bansa," he said as he announced his presidential bid.

Victims of the Marcos martial law have opposed Bongbong's candidacy, saying it's like "spitting on the graves" of those who died during his family's rule.

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