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DQ case vs Marcos reaches Supreme Court

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
DQ case vs Marcos reaches Supreme Court
Presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr is mobbed by his supporters as he arrives at the campaign heaquarters in Manila on May 11, 2022. The son of the late Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos on May 11 claimed victory in the presidential election, vowing to be a leader "for all Filipinos", his spokesman said.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — Petitioners seeking the disqualification of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., currently presumptive president-elect, have elevated their fight to the Supreme Court.

The petitioners led by Martial Law survivor Bonifacio Ilagan, represented by their lawyer Howard Calleja, filed a Petition for Certiorari seeking the reversal of the Commission on Elections resolutions that junked their pleas.

If the court does disqualify Marcos as a candidate for president in the 2022 polls, the petitioners said it should “declare the candidate with the most number of valid votes, [Vice President Leni Robredo], as the winner of the recently concluded Presidential Elections.”

This came two days after a different set of petitioners who sought the cancellation of Marcos’ Certificate of Candidacy filed their own petition before the SC.

Like the Buenafe petition that sought the cancellation of Marcos' COC, they also sought for a temporary restraining order to stop the Senate and the House of Representatives from canvassing the votes cast for Marcos Jr and proclaiming him as president

‘Stray votes shall not be counted’

The Ilagan petition also cited the conviction of Marcos on non-filing of Income Tax Returns for four years. Among the grounds they cited is that Marcos was convicted of a crime of moral turpitude which should result in his disqualification.

But they lost both at the Comelec division and en banc division, prompting them to run to the SC.

“Comelec (En Banc) acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it issued its Resolution denying the Motion for Reconsideration and affirming the Comelec (Former First Division) Resolution,” they said.

The petitioners insisted that Marcos’ “failure to pay the fines to the court renders the penalty subsisting and his sentence remains unserved.”

This means, they said, Marcos is perpetually disqualified from running for his violation PD 1994, which amended the National Internal Revenue Code, and his “continued evasion of sentence by not paying the fines imposed by both the trial and appellate courts constitute a moral turpitude violation under Section 12 of the Omnibus Electoral Code.”

With the leading candidate supposedly perpetually disqualified from running for public office, his votes are “stray and should not be considered and counted.”

And since Marcos is ineligible to run, according to petitioners, his certificate of candidacy is void at the time of filing and to valid votes.

The petitioners cited the 2013 case of Maquiling v. Comelec where the SC held that “the ballot cannot override the constitutional and statutory requirements for qualifications and disqualifications of candidates.”

Part of the ruling read:

When a person who is not qualified is voted for and eventually garners the highest number of votes, even the will of the electorate expressed through the ballot cannot cure the defect in the qualifications of the candidate. To rule otherwise is trample upon and rent asunder the very law that sets forth the qualifications of candidates.

They stressed: “Considering that the votes cast in favor of a disqualified candidate are invalid, the winner therefore, is the candidate who received the greatest number of valid votes.”

The SC is currently on a writing break, meanwhile canvassing of votes for the 2022 polls is set to start next week.

2022 ELECTIONS

BONGBONG MARCOS

COMELEC

SUPREME COURT

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