The Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division yesterday 10 February 1022 dismissed the bids to disqualify presidential contender former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. for “lack of merit”.
The complaint, which was filed by a group of martial law survivors called the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law, used as grounds Marcos’ failure to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985 while he was still governor of Ilocos Norte.
The complainants said these convictions, which was even upheld by the appeals court, should be enough to perpetually disqualify Marcos from holding or running for office.
Section 269 of the Internal Revenue Code of the Philippines state that public officials who are convicted be “punished by a fine of not less than P50,000 but not more than One hundred thousand pesos P100,000 and suffer imprisonment of not less than 10 years but not more than 15.
The same section says those convicted public officials shall further be perpetually disqualified “to hold public office, to vote, and to participate in any public election”.
Official government records show that Marcos, despite his convictions, has been elected governor for four separate terms before he was elected as a member of the House of Representatives, and finally a senator.
He also ran for vice president in 2016 but lost to Leni Robredo.
Commissioners Aimee Ferolino and Marlon Casquejo had both voted to junk the disqualification case against Marcos.
Commissioner Rowena Guanzon had earlier voted to disqualify Marcos Jr. on grounds of moral torpitude but she had retired since then.
The petitioners had vowed to still pursue the case and find all legal remedies necessary to push with the bid to disqualify.