MANILA — The Supreme Court "vindicated" the belief of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s camp that the disqualification cases against him were "without merit," his lawyer said on Wednesday.
The high court, in a 13-0 vote with 2 abstentions, dismissed the cancellation of certificate of candidacy and disqualification cases filed by civic leaders and martial law survivors against Marcos.
The Marcos camp had "expected a unanimous decision," said lawyer Estelito Mendoza.
"We did in fact foresee it because the petitions were without merit. Now that belief has been vindicated by the 13-0 vote," he told ANC's Headstart.
The Supreme Court merely affirmed the decision of the Commission on Elections' division and en banc, said Mendoza.
"We explained that there was no false statement in the certificate of candidacy and the Comelec, first in division and then en banc, sustained that position," he said.
The petitions against Marcos argued he was perpetually disqualified from holding public office after a 1997 Court of Appeals ruling affirmed his conviction for non-filing of income tax returns (ITRs) from 1982 until 1985.
Marcos earlier said the failure to file an ITR is not a crime involving moral turpitude. He added that the rule imposing perpetual disqualification on government officials found guilty of violating the Tax Code did not apply to him as it came into effect only in 1986, after the supposed violations.
Mendoza said "there must be an explicit statement from the decision of the court that the taxpayer is perpetually disqualified."
The high court in its ruling could have taken into consideration the 31 million votes that Marcos received in the May elections and his inauguration on Thursday, Mendoza said.
"I think the Supreme Court takes that into consideration when it resolves cases as quickly and as speedily as it did in this case. The grounds of the decision are altogether clean and unquestionable," he said.
"It is incumbent upon the citizenry to respect what is the decision of the Supreme Court, the highest judicial tribunal in our country, and that is how democracy works."