THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has junked the remaining disqualification case filed against the candidacy for president of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
In a 10-page ruling, Comelec First Division presiding commissioner Socorro Inting dismissed the case filed in December 2021 for lack of merit.
Inting's division affirmed that Marcos "possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications under the 1987 constitution and relevant laws.”
The petitioners had claimed that Bongbong's 1993 conviction for his failure to file his income tax returns is a crime involving moral turpitude, making the former senator unqualified to run for office.
“We are not convinced,” the ruling said,
citing a Supreme Court ruling stating that failure to file an income tax return is not a crime involving moral turpitude.
The ruling also said that moral turpitude implies something immoral in itself, even if it’s punishable by law or not. However, Marcos Jr.’s failure to file income tax is not “inherently wrong,” according to the ruling.
“If failure to file an income tax return is considered alone, it would appear that it is not inherently wrong. This is supported by the fact that the filing of income tax return is only an obligation created by the law and the omission to do so is only considered as wrong because the law penalizes it,” the ruling further read.
All seven cases seeking to stop Marcos Jr.’s presidential bid have been dismissed at the Comelec division level. There were five cases under appeal before the Comelec en banc.
Those who pin their hopes on the disqualification of Bongbong Marcos (BBM) for their candidates to win have encountered the a strong headwind with the release of the Comelec decision.
Let The Ballots Speak
They can appeal to the En Banc, and even to the Supreme Court, but with the May 9, 2022 elections fast approaching, there will be no material time left for these bodies to fast-track these cases.
“As advocated, elections are settled through the ballots on election day — not through the abuse of our judicial processes like the filing of nuisance petitions for disqualification,” BBM spokesman Vic Rodriguez.
The Marcos camp has every reason and moral ascendancy now to call for "every peace-loving Filipino to work for a clean, honest, credible and fair elections, and allow the people to speak, their voices heard and votes genuinely counted.”
If sovereignty really resides in the people, we must let the ballots speak directly and not be muffled by some supposedly learned judges sitting on a bench with a wooden gavel for a toy.