By Tracy Cabrera
Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard-bearer Ferdinand Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. greets supporters after filing his certificate of candidacy (CoC) at the Comelec.
FORMER senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. sees the disqualification case filed against him as an expected nuisance move by his critics and detractor, apparently because his bid for the presidency is already starting to steamroll with many sectors and groups showing support for his candidacy as a ray hope in reforming government and ridding it of prevalent corruption and broken promises.
But several groups, many of them families and kin and victims themselves of the martial regime instituted by then late president Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, are still hoping that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will heed their call to disqualify the former senator who had lost in his vice presidential bid in 2016.
Marcos Jr.’s detractors also cited his criminal conviction in a tax case 26 years ago as another viable reason for his disqualification.
In their petition, the groups representing political detainees and human rights and health rights advocates that opposed the Marcos dictatorship from the 70s to 80s said the son and namesake of the late strongman falsely claimed in his certificate of candidacy (CoC) that he was eligible to run for president “as he was plainly convicted (for the said revenue infringement)” and not one convicted for a crime involving ‘moral turpitude’ that is meted out with at least 18 months imprisonment.
“He doesn’t meet this (criterion). Right now there is no clear case for disqualification,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez pointed out in a television interview.
“Marcos was convicted by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 105 on July 27, 1995, for failure to file income tax returns and pay income taxes from 1982 to 1985. He was sentenced to serve a total of seven years in prison and ordered to pay a fine for several counts of violation of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC),” Jimenez added as an explanation.
In a statement, the Marcos camp dismissed the disqualification case filed, calling it a “predictable nuisance” filed against the former senator.
Marcos Jr.’s spokesperson Atty. Victor Rodriguez tagged the petition as mere ‘black propaganda’, saying they will address it at the proper time and forum and after they receive the official copy of the case filed before the Comelec.
“Until then, we will refrain from commenting on their propaganda. Our camp does not engage in gutter politics. Our campaign is about nation building (not throwing dirty linen against our political opponents),” Rodriguez concluded.
(Photo courtesy: South China Morning Post)