Ibinasura ng Commission on Elections (COMELEC) ang petisyon na humihiling na kanselahin ang Certificate of Candidacy (COC) ni presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Sa 32-pahinang ruling na nilagdaan ni Presiding Commissioner Socorro Inting at sinang-ayunan nina Commissioners Antonio Kho at Rey Bulay, napagpasyahan ng Second Division ng COMELEC na walang misrepresentation na ginawa ang dating senador sa kanyang COC.
“Unmistakably, there is no intention on the part of respondent to deceive the electorate as to his qualifications for public office,” saad sa desisyon.
Ang petisyon ay inihain nina Fr. Christian Buenafe, Fides Lim, Ma. Edeliza Hernandez, Celia Lagman Sevilla, Roland Vibal at Josephine Lascano.
Iginiit ng mga petitioner na ang COC ni Marcos ay nagtataglay ng ilang false representations.
Ikinatwiran ng petitioners na hindi maaring tumakbo sa public office si Marcos dahil hinatulan ito ng isang korte sa Quezon City dahil sa kabiguang maghain ng income tax returns mula 1982 hanggang 1985.
Gayunman, ibinasura ng poll body ang argumento sa pagsasabing hindi perpetually disqualified si Marcos na kumandidato dahil hindi naman ito gumawa ng anumang misrepresentation sa paghahain ng kanyang COC.
Nakasaad sa Oct. 21, 1997 decision ng Court of Appeals, “did not categorically hold that [Marcos] is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude nor did it positively pronounce that [he is] meted the penalty of imprisonment of more than 18 months. There is likewise no definitive declaration by the said decision that herein respondent is perpetually disqualified from holding public office,” ayon sa COMELEC panel.
“Failure to file income tax returns is not tax evasion,” saad pa ng lupon.
Idinagdag pa nito na ang tax evasion ay “involves a scheme used outside lawful means.”
Sinabi pa ng COMELEC, batay sa desisyon ng Court of Appeals na si Marcos, “being an elected public official for taxable years concerned, was already subjected to the withholding tax system, hence, his tax liabilities were already paid as they were withheld by the government.”
Isa pang batch ng disqualification cases na kinasadangkutan ni Marcos ang nakabinbin sa First Division ng COMELEC.
Pinasalamatan naman ng chief of staff ni Marcos na si Victor Rodriguez, ang poll body, “for upholding the law and the right of every bona fide candidate like [Marcos] to run for public office free from any form of harassment and discrimination.”
“The petitioners’ mere creativity for writing and wanting what is not written in the law as basis to cancel the certificate of candidacy of [Marcos] is way too frivolous and unmeritorious to override the basic precepts of the Constitution,” ani Rodriquez.
Inihayag naman ni Theodore Te, counsel ng mga petitioner, na iaapela nila ang desisyon.