(MNS Photo)

MANILA, Nov 3 (Mabuhay) — Petitioners representing human rights organizations have asked the Commission on Elections to cancel or deny due course to the certificate of candidacy of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

The groups said Marcos was convicted on July 27, 1995 for failure to file income tax returns several times from 1982 to 1985.

They said this made the son and namesake of the late dictator ineligible to run for office because he was a “convicted criminal.”

“The conviction of respondent Marcos by the Court of Appeals was no longer assailed by him before the Supreme Court as his appeal was subsequently withdrawn,” the petition read.

“In this regard, while it was improper for the Court of Appeals to disregard the penalty of imprisonment in the conviction of respondent Marcos, the absence of any appeal therefrom only affirms the incontestable fact that respondent Marcos Jr., is a convicted criminal,” it added.

The  petitioners said the Court of Appeals on October 31, 1997 upheld  Marcos’ conviction beyond a reasonable doubt for violating tax laws relative to his failure to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985.

The CA, however, deleted the penalty of imprisonment and merely imposed a fine. Marcos was also told to pay his taxes.

“To date petitioners have not seen any document that establishes respondent Marcos Jr.’s compliance with consistent directive of the regional,” the petition read.

The petitioners said that Marcos said in his COC that he was “eligible” to for the office he was seeking to be elected to.

“Furthermore respondent Marcos also declared under oath that he has never been found liable for any offence which carries the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification to hold pubic office,” the petition read.

The petitioners include Fr. Christian Buenafe, co-chairperson of Task Force Detainees; Fides Lim, board chair of Kapatid-Families and Friends of Political Prisoners; Ma. Edeliza Hernandez, executive director of the Medical Action Groupl Celia Lagman Sevilla, secretary general of the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance; Roland Vibal Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates , and Josephine Lascano, executive director of the Balay Rehabilitation Center.

“This conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeals and no longer appealed to the Supreme Court, thereby becoming a final and unappealable conviction,” the petitioners said in a statement.

“Having been convicted by final judgment of a violation of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), Marcos is perpetually disqualified from holding any public office, to vote and to participate in any election as mandated under the NIRC,” they added.

The groups said the crimes for which Marcos was convicted by final judgement were also crimes involving moral turpitude that disqualify Marcos from being a candidate for any office under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code. (MNS)

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