Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban offered unsolicited legal advice to petitioners against presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos in his latest newspaper column.
The abogado weighed in on the latest document document war between Marcos and Atty. Theodore Te, where the latter showed a certification from the Quezon City court that Bongbong has still not paid his penalties for not filing his income tax returns from 1982-1985, now the basis of the petition to cancel Marcos’ certificate of candidacy for 2022.
“Final decisions of appellate tribunals like the Supreme Court (SC) and the Court of Appeals (CA) are normally enforced or ‘executed’ by the courts of origin, usually the RTCs. The petitioners insist that the ‘Certification’ shows that BB has not paid the fine and the tax delinquency ordered by the CA decision, Thus, he lied (or committed a false material representation) when he stated in his COC that he was “eligible” for the presidency. However, I think Rowena Bacud is merely the OIC of Branch 105 of the RTC-QC,” Panganiban said, referring to the signatory to the document.
“The official who should certify is the clerk of court (Gregorio C. Tallud) of the entire RTC-QC station made up of 57 branches. His office is authorized to receive payments of fines which normally become parts of the Judiciary Development Fund. If the petitioners can secure a similar ‘certification’ from Tallud, their argument could gain cogency,” he added.
Meanwhile, the ex-chief magistrate said Marcos’ supposed receipt of payment of P67,137.27 worth of fines appears “vague.”
“Clearly, under item (a), the deficiency income taxes are to be paid to the BIR. Assuming the Land Bank is authorized to accept the payment of BB’s deficiency income taxes on behalf of the BIR, BB’s supporters need to explain how the total of “P67,137.27” is to be applied to BB’s deficiency income taxes, and why the said total is adequate to satisfy both items (a) and (b),” he said.
“Also, BB’s supporters must explain, if they can, why the fines mentioned in item (b) were not paid to the clerk of court of the RTC-QC station, and how the total of “P67,137.27” satisfied item (b) of the CA decision,” he added.