MANILA— The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has issued summons anew to presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., this time in relation to the 3 disqualification cases filed against him by various groups, a commissioner announced Tuesday.
In a social media post, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who heads the Comelec first division, confirmed the issuance of the summons to Marcos over the following cases:
• Bonifacio Ilagan, et al. vs Marcos
• Akbayan Citizen’s Action Party vs Marcos
• Abubakar Mangelen vs Marcos
"The EOs (election officers) were directed to print, personally serve the Summons to Respondent BBM (Bongbong Marcos), and to submit Affidavits of service. The PES (provincial election supervisors) and RED (regional election director) were also requested to ensure effective service of summons," Guanzon said in a Facebook post.
The summons direct Marcos to file his verified answer to each petition within 5 days from receipt of notice.
The division also set the preliminary conferences for these cases on Jan. 7, 2022.
The conferences are assumed to be held separately since the cases have not been consolidated.
Apart from Guanzon, the other members of the 1st Division are Commissioners Marlon Casquejo and Aimee Ferolino.
ILAGAN, ET AL. PETITION
The Ilagan petition was filed by martial law survivors, including former Makabayan bloc lawmakers Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza.
Petitioners argue Marcos is “perpetually disqualified from holding any public office” on the basis of his 1995 tax case conviction by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) for non-payment of income taxes and non-filing of income tax returns (ITRs) from 1982-1985.
Marcos was sentenced to imprisonment and payment of fine.
On appeal, in 1997, the decision of the lower court was modified by the Court of Appeals (CA), which acquitted Marcos of non-payment of taxes even as the non-filing of ITR ruling was upheld.
The prison sentence was removed by the CA.
Regardless of the CA decision, petitioners insist Marcos, by virtue of section 253(c) of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), is perpetually disqualified from public office.
It further pointed out it will be “difficult, if not impossible” for human rights victims during martial law to claim reparations, and for government to recover “the bulk of the ill-gotten wealth plundered by the Marcoses and their cronies” if Marcos is allowed to run and possibly win the presidency.
The Akbayan petition, described by Guanzon in a Twitter post Tuesday as “better than the others,” is also anchored on Marcos’ tax case conviction.
It raised a similar argument on Marcos’ perpetual disqualification from public office, explaining that though his non-payment and non-filing of ITRs was up to 1985 only or a year before the perpetual disqualification accessory penalty took effect under PD 1994, filing of ITRs and payment of taxes for 1985 was due on April 15, 1986.
PD 1994, incidentally signed into law by Marcos’ father the late dictatorFerdinand Marcos, took effect in January 1986.
Petitioners insist from Jan. 1, 1986 up to at least April 16, 1986, Marcos was “committing” the crime of non-filing of tax returns while he was sitting Ilocos Norte governor.
Under the amended Tax Code, the perpetual disqualification penalty only rises in cases when the offender is a public official or employee.
Petitioners stressed that at the time the tax conviction was made final by the Supreme Court on Aug. 31, 2001, Marcos was again incumbent Ilocos Norte governor, and again, his conviction carried with it the accessory penalty.
The petition also asserted Marcos was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude since “taxes are the lifeblood of the nation.”
National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Commissioner Abubakar Mangelen continues to claim to this day that he is the duly authorized head of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), Marcos' current political party.
In his petition, Mangelen questioned the issuance of Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) to Marcos, as he insisted “records would show [Marcos] was never an officer or member of PFP.”
Mangelen alleges Marcos’ CONA is “inoperative, void and non-existent.”
The petition explained the issuance of CONA did not go through the proper process, in violation of the party’s constitution and by-laws.
The petition also cited Marcos’ tax case conviction in its disqualification plea.
Mangelen wants Comelec to void Marcos' CONA and disqualify him from the race.
As of press time, there are six active petitions against Marcos' presidential bid:
1. Buenafe, et al. vs Marcos - Petition to cancel COC
2. Tiburcio Marcos vs Marcos - Petition to cancel COC
3. Ilagan, et al. vs. Marcos- Petition to disqualify
4. Akbayan, et al. vs. Marcos - Petition to disqualify
5. Mangelen vs. Marcos - Petition to disqualify and cancel CONA
6. Pudno Nga Ilocano vs Marcos - Petition to disqualify
Marcos' presidential bid is considered so far the most legally-contested in the country's recent election history.
His camp has repeatedly said that all the cases against him are "political trash," lodged by "political assassins," intended to block his presidential bid.