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Marcos team answers petitioners' court certificate with BIR document of payment in tax case

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The campaign of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday presented a certification of payment to the Bureau of Internal Revenue, in an apparent answer to petitioners seeking the cancellation of his Certificate of Candidacy.

Lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ spokesperson, showed to the media a BIR certification showing that it received four payments on December 27, 2001 from Marcos, totaling to P67,137.21.

The receipt showed that Marcos paid P3,172.48 for the year of 1982; 8,788.13 for 1983; P5,925.57 for 1984 and P49,251.09 for 1985.

According to the receipt, Marcos paid a total of P13,137.27 for total deficiency income tax, fine of P36,000 and surcharge of P18,000.

The campaign of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday presented a certification of payment to the Bureau of Internal Revenue, in an apparent answer to petitioners seeking the cancellation of his Certificate of Candidacy.

The certification, Rodriguez said, supposedly shows that Marcos “has paid all his deficiency taxes including interest.”

Rodriguez said they have long had the certification but opted not to show it because, he said, the petitioners were "fishing for evidence."

He is referring to the six civic leaders who filed a petition to cancel or deny due course Marcos’ COC, through a plea prepared by lawyer Theodore Te.

"It has been paid. We owe nothing to the government,” Rodriguez said, adding that "there is no greater authority when it comes to ITR than the BIR."

He added that the BIR certification “invalidates” claims by the petitioners that submitted to the Comelec certifications from the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 105, and the Office of the Clerk of Court of Quezon City stating that they have “no records” of Marcos’ compliance

The QC RTC Branch 105 issued a certification, dated December 2, stating that it has “no record on file” of “compliance of payment or satisfaction of the Decision of the [RTC] dated July 27, 1995 or the [CA] dated October 31, 1997.”

The QC OCC meanwhile on December 14 issued a separate certification stating that “per verification with the records on file, this office has no record of any compliance/payment of fine” in the four criminal cases against Marcos.

Asked how it was possible for the court to not have records of the fines being paid, Rodriguez refused to venture an answer and said he does not speculate, nor can he answer for the court.

Rodriguez also reiterated their defense, filed through a memorandum by Estelito Mendoza — solicitor-general during the dictatorship of the elder Marcos — that the petitioners engaged in an “ambush” when they presented the certificate as evidence.

In their filed memorandum, Marcos’ lawyers said: “Petitioners acted in contravention of not only the rules of the Honorable Commission but also of the concept of fair play and due process,” 

Payment

The Court of Appeals ruling on the case against Marcos stated that he is ordered to pay the following:

  • Pay to the BIR the deficiency income taxes due with interest at the legal rate until fully paid
  • Pay a fine of P2,000 for each charge in Criminal Cases Nos. Q-92-29212 and Q-921-2917 for failure to file income tax returns for the years 1982, 1983 and 1984; and the fine of P30,000 in Criminal Case No. Q-91-24391 for failure to file income tax return for 1985, with surcharges

In Marcos’ Answer to the petition filed in November, his lawyers said the order to pay the BIR is "unclear" as it "does not specify the particular deficiency income tax which appellant therein is required to pay with interest at the rate until fully paid."

In a separate pleading, Partido Federal ng Pilipinas officers, including Rodriguez, filed an Answer-in-Intervention, telling the Comelec that Marcos paid the “fine on December 27, 2001” but this was ordered stricken off by the Commission as with other pleas to join the main petition.

"[Marcos] appealed the CA decision to the Supreme Court. On August 8, 2001, he decided to withdraw his appeal and opted to just pay the fine plus interest and surcharges which amounted to P67,137.27," the PFP officers’ pleading read.

Why is it important that Marcos had paid the income tax dues with interest and fines? Petitioners said Marcos not complying with the Court of Appeals’ final judgment means he has not served the sentence.

Marcos’ lawyers however argued that, following the Omnibus Elections Code, disqualification stemming from the conviction has been automatically removed upon the lapse of five years from the payment of fines and penalties in December 2001—which means by December 28, 2006, Marcos “was no longer disqualified to be a candidate and hold public office.”

But the petitioners asserted that the conviction on Marcos’ case falls under PD 1994 and not under the Omnibus Election Code.

“Marcos Jr.’s conviction under PD 1994, ipso facto, perpetually disqualifies him from public office without regard to ‘moral turpitude.’ To rule otherwise is to engage in judicial legislation,” they told the Comelec.

Marcos and his running-mate, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, emerged as the top choices in the latest Pulse Asia pre-elections survey released on Wednesday.

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