Final arguments sought in Ilocano group's disqualification case vs Bongbong Marcos

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 14 2022 10:26 PM

A group of Ilocanos, including some Martial Law survivors, stage a protest, after filing a petition for disqualification against presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. at the COMELEC headquarters in Intramuros, Manila on Dec. 7, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
A group of Ilocanos, including some Martial Law survivors, stage a protest, after filing a petition for disqualification against presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. at the COMELEC headquarters in Intramuros, Manila on Dec. 7, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has given presidential contender Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. and Pudno nga Ilocano (Genuine Ilocano) 3 days to submit their final arguments regarding the disqualification case filed by the group against the former senator. 

This, as the Comelec Second Division concluded the preliminary conference on the petition on Friday.

No stipulations or agreements of facts were made during the conference. 

The case, the 7th challenging Marcos’ presidential bid, shall be deemed submitted for resolution after the 3-day period for submission of memoranda.

Pudno Nga Ilocano is asking the Comelec to disqualify the late dictator’s son and namesake, citing his tax evasion conviction that supposedly made him ineligible for public office.

In 1995, Marcos was convicted by a Quezon City trial court for non-payment of income taxes and non-filing of tax returns from 1982 up to 1985, and was meted the penalty of imprisonment and payment of fines.

He was acquitted by the Court of Appeals (CA) on non-payment of taxes, but his conviction on non-filing of tax returns was affirmed. His imprisonment sentence was removed by the court.

In its petition, Pudno Nga Ilokano argued that Marcos is perpetually disqualified from holding public office by virtue of having been found guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude, as provided under Sec. 12 of the Omnibus Election Code, and for violating the Tax Code. Under Sec. 45 of the Tax Code, the accessory penalty is perpetual disqualification for public officers and employees.

In his 24-page sworn answer to the petition, Marcos argued he was “never convicted by final judgment” of any crime involving moral turpitude; “never sentenced by final judgment” to a penalty of more than 18 months imprisonment nor of prision correccional; and not disqualified from holding public office.

The Comelec is set to finalize on Jan. 15 the official list of candidates for May 9 elections, and start the printing of official ballots on January 17.

Aspiring candidates whose cases have not attained finality shall be included in the ballot.

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