Comelec junks petition to declare Bongbong Marcos nuisance candidate

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2021 10:41 AM | Updated as of Dec 18 2021 12:50 PM

MANILA (UPDATE)— The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has denied a bid to declare former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. a nuisance candidate, the first of several cases against his 2022 presidential bid to be resolved. 

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said Saturday the Comelec 2nd Division junked the petition filed by Danilo Lihaylihay in a ruling promulgated on Dec. 16. 

The division ruled Marcos' candidacy "did not fall under any of the three broad categories of nuisance candidates, i.e., one who has a filed a candidacy to throw the election process in mockery of disrepute, or to cause confusion among voters by the similarity of names, or that there are acts or circumstances which clearly demonstrate the lack of a bona fide intention to run for office." 

In a statement, Marcos' spokesperson Victor Rodriguez said the dismissal was "expected as this is among the multiple nuisance petitions" filed against the presidential aspirant. 

"We have always maintained that there exist [sic] no legal basis to cancel the certificate of candidacy nor disqualify [Marcos] and that elections are won and settled through the ballots on election day not by maliciously filing nuisance petitions," he said. 

Marcos is facing at least six other cases against his candidacy before Comelec: four seeking his disqualification and two asking the poll body to cancel his certificate of candidacy. 

The petitions contend that Marcos should be perpetually disqualified from holding public office, citing his conviction for tax evasion. 

In 1995, Marcos was convicted by a Quezon City 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.

Marcos' camp has opposed the petitions citing his previous electoral victories and that he has all qualification to seek the presidency. 

Marcos is the namesake son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, whose regime was marked by killings, human rights abuses and a plunder of state wealth. 

The strongman was overthrown in 1986 through a peaceful revolt. The Philippine government is still in the process of taking back his family's ill-gotten wealth. 

The Marcos family has remained politically influential, with members still holding elected positions. 

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