BBM of course is Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. and several petitions for disqualifications have been filed by various groups and individuals at the Commission on Election against the former senator and presidential candidate in connection with the May 9, 2022 general elections.
Supporters of Marcos Jr. are dismayed and wondering why so many groups and people are opposing his candidacy and they are asking: Are they afraid of Bongbong Marcos that they want to disqualify him in the presidential election? Why can’t they just allow the Filipino sovereign will to decide which candidate they want to be elected president in 2022?
BBM has teamed up in his presidential candidacy with presidential daughter and Davao city mayor Sara Duterte who surprisingly, despite her dominance in several past presidential preference surveys, opted to run for vice president. Many claim that their political tandem has been cooked up by no other than former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) who is running again as congressman in her district in Pampanga province, her own political bailiwick. Political speculations are rife that if the BBM-Sara tandem emerged victorious, GMA is sure to return as House speaker and with Pres. Rodrigo Duterte himself running as senator and expected to win, why, he would surely be a shoo-in himself as Senate president. In other words, the alliance of Marcos, Duterte and Arroyo is cemented and as formidable as ever in the highest rungs of power in the country in 2022 and beyond.
Now, let’s backtrack to BBM’s disqualification as presidential contender. I’m no lawyer, has got no background in law but, modestly speaking, I have naman taken up several Law subjects during my college days boning up on my major AB-Political Science course. I have, ehem, taken up such subjects as Introduction to Law, Public International Law, among others, and, of course, several political science subjects such as, uhm, never mind.
Anyway, an election is a contest just like a basketball game in which participants have to qualify to be able to play in the game. So how much more a presidential election? It happens that Marcos political opponents and critics have dug up the fact that BBM was not paying his income tax way back when he was Ilocos Norte vice governor from 1982 to 1985. Somebody, obviously not a Marcos loyalist or supporter, has filed a complaint with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and it reached the court and he was convicted in the regional trial court. He appealed in the Court of Appeals and even up to the Supreme Court but he withdrew his appeal in the SC so it hardened into conviction already in the CA. The Certificate of Candidacy for any position has a certain question there where a candidate is asked if he or she has not been convicted of any criminal case and BBM answered No. This was enough for several groups, especially human rights groups who have an ax to grind about the alleged rampant human rights violations of the Marcos martial law administration, to seize on and readily filed a complaint of disqualification against BBM for alleged misrepresentation claiming he is lying about his previous tax evasion case conviction and thus can be punished with perpetual disqualification to vote or be voted upon in office.
Indeed, why would vice governor Marcos deliberately not pay his income tax four times in a row if not to flout that he can get away with it just because he is a Marcos whose father then is at the height of his power in Malacañang?
The case, fraught with political peril and significance, is now in the Comelec for deliberation and resolution and if it is not resolved to the satisfaction of the contending parties can be brought to the Supreme Court which is the court of last resort in our kind of judicial system.
Still, what perhaps comes uppermost in the mind in this issue is: what would happen if BBM is finally disqualified? Would the millions of Marcos loyalists all over the country stage huge protest rallies that could spell trouble and finally disrupt the conduct of the May 9, 2022 elections?
Whatever, the case, just like any hot potato issue that reached the Comelec and the courts, has to be resolved one way or another before the end of the year, before the printing of the election ballots by the Comelec to once and for all determine if BBM’s name gets to be included as one among the presidential candidates in the May 2022 elections which include Vice President Leni Robredo, senators Ping Lacson, Bong Go and Manny Pacquaio, Manila mayor Isko Moreno, labor leader Leody de Guzman, Antonio Parlade and 87 other independent and not so-known presidential wannabes.