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Petitioners: Court certification says Marcos has not complied to conviction on tax case

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Petitioners: Court certification says Marcos has not complied to conviction on tax case
This photo release shows the multi-sectoral protest action conducted on December 2 as Akbayan filed a petition for disqualification against presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos.
Akbayan Partylist Facebook release

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 1:43 p.m.) — Petitioners against Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.'s election bid said they secured a certification from the trial court that the presidential aspirant “has not satisfied” the judgment in the ruling that convicted him for non-filing of Income Tax Returns.

In a statement, counsels for petitioners seeking the cancellation of Marcos’ COC said lawyer Theodore Te wrote to the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 105 and was able to secure material documents in the case against Marcos.

“Among these documents is a Certification issued by the Acting Presiding Judge that Mr. Marcos Jr. has not satisfied the judgment of the court in these cases (decided July 27, 1995), as modified by the Court of Appeals in its decision on appeal (decided October 31, 1997),” the lawyers said.

The July 1995 decision refers to the QC RTC Branch 105 decision where it found Marcos guilty for violation Sections 45 and 50 of the National Internal Revenue Code. He was sentenced to at least nine years of imprisonment and to pay fine for failure to file ITRs and pay taxes for the years of 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985.

Upon appeal, the CA in 1997 upheld the conviction but modified the decision of the local court. As quoted by the petitioners in the plea before the Commission on Elections, Marcos had been ordered to pay the Bureau of Internal Revenue the deficiency income taxes with interest, and pay a fine of P2,000 for each charge of failing to file ITRs o 1982, 1983 and 194; and a separate P30,000-fine for the ITR for 1985.

The copy of the certificate, which Te had verified, states that the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 105 has no record on file of “compliance of payment or satisfaction of the Decision of the Regional Trial Court dated July 27, 1997 or the Court of Appeals dated October 31, 1997; [and] entry in the criminal docket of the RTC decision dated July 27, 1995 as affirmed/modified by the Court of Appeals’ Decision.”

Conviction means perpetual disqualification

It is unclear how this certification of no records would weigh in the pending cases challenging Marcos’ presidential bid. The petitions cited the trial court conviction in arguing that he is perpetually barred from holding public office again.

Te told reporters that the certification “simply cements” their arguments in their petition that Marcos has been convicted and “his sentence remains unserved.”

The lawyer also asserted that Marcos remains ineligible to run for the polls as “the automatic result of a conviction under the NIRC (regardless of service of sentence or other penalties imposed) which is perpetual absolute disqualification remains.” 

“His continuing evasion of the sentence, coupled with his repeated misrepresentation of his eligibility all those times he ran for public office, is evidence of his intent to deceive the electorate and not to abide by the laws he aspires to execute," Te added.

Officers of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, who are seeking to intervene in the suit in Marcos’ defense, told the Comelec that Marcos paid the fine plus interest and surcharge amounting to P67,137,27 on Dec. 27, 2001.

The Comelec Second Division has already asked the petitioners and the legal team of Marcos to file their comment on the Answer-in-Intervention, and Motion to Expunge, respectively, pending before them.

But the petitioners’ counsels said they will “bring this matter to the urgent attention of the Comelec… and also the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City which is the government agency mandated to enforce the judgment of the RTC.”

Petitioners are asserting that penalty of disqualification is an inevitable consequence of conviction, and is not dependent on the penalty actually imposed.

Marcos is also facing at least two petitions for disqualification. He also reportedly faces a petition for cancelation of COC from a certain Tiburcio Marcos who purports that the dictator's son is an impostor.

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