'Gross disservice': Akbayan presses Comelec to act on resolution of Marcos DQ case

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2022 05:48 PM

Members of Akbayan hold a protest in front of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on March 21, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Members of Akbayan hold a protest in front of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on March 21, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Party-list group Akbayan on Monday submitted a letter to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) urging the body to finally act on the resolution of their disqualification case against presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr.

In the letter, Akbayan 1st nominee Perci Cendaña called Marcos a "fake presidential candidate."

"Nananawagan kami sa Comelec na huwag hayaang mabiktima ang ating mga kababayan ni Bongbong Marcos. Mahirap iasa ang boto sa isang pekeng kandidato. Maaaring masayang ang boto ng tao at tuluyan silang mawalan ng tiwala sa ating elektoral na proseso," Cendaña said. 

Akbayan is one of the many petitioners challenging Marcos' presidential bid. Some of the cases have been junked in the division level but are on appeal before the Comelec en banc. 

Without the final ruling of the en banc, petitioners cannot raise the issue before the Supreme Court, which would ultimately decide on Marcos' qualification as a candidate.

Akbayan also pointed out the Bureau of Internal Revenue's (BIR) confirmation that the Marcos family has P203 billion unsettled estate tax liabilities, making the presidential candidate's disqualification from the presidential race "more urgent and compelling."

"They are notorious tax evaders. Bongbong Marcos was not only convicted of tax evasion while he served as governor of Ilocos, his family also has billions of unpaid estate taxes. They clearly show a track record of tax evasion and a character flaw of willful disrespect for the law and the welfare of the Filipino people," Cendaña said. 

For Cendaña, the Comelec has no more reason to further delay the resolution of the case, especially that the membership of its en banc is now complete. 

"Any further delay is already a gross disservice to the voting public and our electoral system and favors Marcos Jr's grand fakery. The Comelec has no other recourse but to disqualify Bongbong Marcos. Its decision will go a long way in ensuring that the public not only chooses wisely, but that it does so based on the rule of law and the integrity of our electoral democracy," Cendaña said.

Akbayan filed its disqualification case in December. It was junked by the 1st division but Akbayan filed a motion for reconsideration before the full commission. 

It wants Marcos out of the race because of a previous tax conviction.