Group of Ilocanos file disqualification case against Bongbong Marcos
A group of Ilocanos on Tuesday filed before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) a disqualification case against the presidential bid of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
The petitioners argued that Marcos is not qualified to run for president or any elective position as he was sentenced for crimes involving “moral turpitude” as provided under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code.
“While we have cited the same reasons as most of the earlier cases did, we would like to add our voice and arguments to disallow a person by the name of Marcos to aspire for, much more become president, of the country to which he willfully and arrogantly refused to pay taxes to,” the petitioners said in a statement.
Marcos, son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was convicted eight times by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 105 for violations of Sections 45 and 50 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1977 for failure to file his income tax returns as governor of Ilocos Norte for the taxable years 1982 to 1985, they said.
“We say ‘willfully and arrogantly’ because he did it several times, and was in fact convicted for it four times, and he did it when his father was still in power. It was a full display of arrogance and contempt to the country and its citizens,” they said.
The petitioners said the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed his “guilt beyond reasonable doubt” in the four convictions resulting from his deliberate failure “to file his income tax returns” and “to pay the proper income taxes” for the aforementioned years.
The petitioners also claimed that Marcos should be disqualified “for having been sentenced by final judgment for an offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than eighteen months, as provided under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code.”
Four of these convictions were later affirmed by the CA, including his conviction under Criminal Case No. Q-91-2439 that carries a penalty of three-year imprisonment.
They asserted that Marcos has been perpetually disqualified from the “right of suffrage.”
“Marcos has been perpetually disqualified from holding any public office pursuant to Section 286 of the NIRC, considering that Respondent is a public officer convicted of a crime penalized by the NIRC,” they said.
Among the petitioners were from Pudno Nga Ilokano, an informal organization in Northern Luzon who support social change and reform in governance.
The petitioners were assisted by constitutionalist and former Comelec chairman Christian Monsod and other lawyers affiliated with the Ateneo Human Rights Center in filing the disqualification case against Marcos.