(MNS Photo)

MANILA, Dec 2 (Mabuhay) — At least six individuals on Thursday filed a petition seeking to disqualify former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. from the 2022 presidential race over his four tax-related convictions.

The petitioners — among them Akbayan members and Martial Law survivors — argued that such convictions carry a penalty of perpetual disqualification from public office, among others

The petitioners cited Section 252 of the Tax Code which provides that the maximum penalty prescribed for the offense of violating Tax Code for public officials and employees is dismissal from public service and perpetual disqualification from holding any public office.

Marcos, son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was convicted of four counts of violating Tax Code due to his failure to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985. The conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeals in 2001. Marcos has not appealed to the Supreme Court.

“During this time, he was a public officer, being then the Governor of Ilocos Norte. As such, his conviction for the said crimes carried with it the penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding any public office, voting, and participating in any election,” the petitioners said.

“Additionally, on 31 August 2001, when his conviction for failure to file income tax returns became final by virtue of the entry of judgment of the Resolution of the Supreme Court granting his motion to withdraw his earlier motion for extension of time to file a petition for review on certiorari, the Respondent was likewise a public officer, being then again the Governor of Ilocos Norte. As such, his final conviction necessarily carried with it the penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding any public office, voting, and participating in any election,” they added.

In addition, they argued that these crimes involve moral turpitude, thus disqualifying Marcos from the 2022 presidential race based on Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code.

“Undoubtedly, the repeated failure of the Respondent, for more than a decade, to file his income tax returns as a public officer was a series of continuing acts done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals that manifest baseness, vileness, or depravity. These acts constituted crimes involving moral turpitude,” they said.

“Petitioners therefore respectfully submit that the Respondent should be disqualified as a candidate for President of the Republic of the Philippines on the ground of his final conviction for crimes involving moral turpitude. Wherefore, the petitioners respectfully pray that respondent Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. be disqualified as a candidate for President of the Republic of the Philippines,” they added.

The petition is the seventh filed challenging Marcos’ presidential bid. The petitioners were Akbayan first nominee Perci Cendaña, former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Etta Rosales, Akbayan Youth Chairperson Dr. RJ Naguit, Martial Law victim-survivor Doris Nuval of Claimants 1081, women leader Jean Enriquez of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, and labor leader Nice Coronacion of the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagagwa.

Marcos’ spokesperson Vic Rodriguez earlier dismissed the petitions as political propaganda. He said there are about 500 lawyers who have expressed intention to defend Marcos from the petitions.  (MNS)

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