The first division of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) will be ruling on the disqualification cases filed against former Senator and presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. on or before January, according to Commissioner Rowena Guanzon. “If not too risky, we will read it (the decision) in the Session Hall on livestream,” Guanzon wrote via Twitter.
Various organizations are challenging Marcos’ eligibility to run for president on the basis of his conviction for failure to file income tax returns (ITR) from 1982 to 1985, when he served as Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte. A Quezon City Regional Trial Court ruled against Marcos in 1995, and this was upheld by the Court of Appeals in 1997. Marcos’ initially appealed his loss before the Supreme Court before withdrawing it by 2001. Hence, Marcos’ conviction has become final and executory.
Section 252.c of Presidential Decree 1158 or the National Internal Revenue Code states that a public officer or employee found guilty of violating the country’s tax laws “shall receive the maximum penalty prescribed for the offense” and that he or she “shall be dismissed from the public service and perpetually disqualified from holding any public office, to vote and to participate in any election.” PD 1158 was signed by then-President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. in 1977.