Join the campaign (Learn More)

Another college of law dean points out glaring flaws of petitions vs BBM; says Marcos qualified to run for president

Press Releases
12 December 2021

THE LIST of legal luminaries who have opined that Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. is qualified to run for president in the 2022 elections because the petitions to cancel his Certificate of Candidacy is either weak, or has no legal basis, continues to grow.

This time around, a US-based Filipino lawyer , who’s also the dean of Northwestern University College of Law, dismantled the issues raised in each of the petition, which has now ballooned to seven in total.

Atty. Emmanuel Samonte Tipon wrote an opinion piece which has provided solid legal arguments against the petitions seeking to cancel or deny due course to Marcos’ CoC or that he be declared as a nuisance candidate.

He said that there is no serious question that Marcos meets the requirements under Article VII, Section 2 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which read, "No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election."

Tipon even added that Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines, which states: "Any person who has … been sentenced . . .for a crime involving moral turpitude, shall be disqualified to be a candidate and to hold any office." does not supplement the 1987 Constitution and therefore does not modify the eligibility requirements for the Presidency.

The law dean also believes that Marcos is not disqualified under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) for having been sentenced to pay only a fine for not filing income tax returns since it is not a crime involving moral turpitude.

"Marcos is not disqualified under OEC Sec. 12 because it does not define what constitutes a "crime involving moral turpitude." Therefore, like beauty, a "crime involving moral turpitude" is in the eye of the beholder. This makes the statute unconstitutionally void for vagueness and violates the due process provision of the Constitution," Tipon said.

Furthermore, he pointed out that the Supreme Court "specifically held" that Marcos’ "failure to file an income tax return is not a crime involving moral turpitude," hence he was not disqualified from becoming an executor of his father's will back in 2009.

The law dean also holds a firm belief that Marcos did not make any material misrepresentation when he marked No in Question 22 of the COC form.  Tipon said, "Question 22 is not relevant to the eligibility requirements for President specified in the Constitution because a conviction for any offense does not automatically bar eligibility."

Tipon has joined a growing number of legal heavyweights who’re neither supporters of Marcos, nor lawyering for him, who have rendered legal views and sees the petitions as without legal basis or mere nuisance.

Last month, Ateneo Law Professor and former DOJ Secretary Alberto Agra said that the disqualification case against Marcos has no basis and is unlikely to move forward.

This viewpoint was also shared by UST College of Law Dean Nilo Divina when he said that the petition filed against Marcos’ CoC would likely fail because it is defective in form and lacks sufficient legal basis.

Last week, more than a dozen lawyers from Ateneo who are members of the Fraternal Order of Utopia offered their free services to Marcos as part of his vote protection team.

Tipon was also a Fulbright and Smith-Mundt scholar when he took up his Master of Laws at Yale Law School. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He practices federal law and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, New York, and the Philippines.

-30-

FILIPINO VERSION

LAW DEAN: DQ PETITIONS VS MARCOS  WALANG BASEHAN; BBM QUALIFIED NATUMAKBO SA PAGKA-PRESIDENTE

PATULOY na dumarami ang mga eksperto sa batas na nagsasabi na kwalipikadong tumakbo bilang pangulo sa halalan sa 2022 si Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr., at iginiit na ang petisyon para kanselahin ang kanyang Cettificate of Candidacy (CoC) ay mahina at walang legal na basehan.

Si Atty. Emmanuel Samonte Tipon, isang US-based Filipino lawyer, at dean ng Northwestern University College of Law, ang panibagong abogado na nagbasura sa pitong petisyon na isinampa laban kay Marcos Jr.

Sa kanyang isinulat na opinyon, iginiit ni Dean Tipon na wala umanong kwestiyon na nakasunod si Marcos sa lahat ng requirement na kailangan sa ilalim na Article VII, Section 2 ng 1987 Constitution na nagsasabing, “No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election."

Idinagdag pa ni Tipon na ang sinasabi sa Section 12 ng Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines na "Any person who has … been sentenced . . .for a crime involving moral turpitude, shall be disqualified to be a candidate and to hold any office,” ay hindi umaayon sa 1987 Constitution kaya hindi umano nito saklaw ang “eligibility requirement” para sa pagka-pangulo.

Iginiit pa ng abogado na hindi pwedeng ma-disqualify si Marcos sa ilalim ng Section 12 ng Omnibus Election Code (OEC) dahil lamang sa utos ng korte na pagmultahin ito sa hindi pagpa-file ng income tax returns at hindi rin ito maituturing ng krimen na may “moral turpitude.”

"Marcos is not disqualified under OEC Sec. 12 because it does not define what constitutes a "crime involving moral turpitude." Therefore, like beauty, a "crime involving moral turpitude" is in the eye of the beholder. This makes the statute unconstitutionally void for vagueness and violates the due process provision of the Constitution," ani Tipon.

Ipinunto pa ng dean na naunang denisisyunan ng Supreme Court na ang hindi pagpa-file ng income tax return ni Marcos ay hindi krimen na kinasasangkutan ng “moral turpitude.”

Binanggit pa ni Tipon na wala umanong misrepresentation nang sumagot ng “no” si Marcos sa Question 22 ng COC form. "Question 22 is not relevant to the eligibility requirements for President specified in the Constitution because a conviction for any offense does not automatically bar eligibility,” giit ni Tipon.

Si Tipon ang isa lamang sa dumaraming mga eksperto sa batas, na hindi supporter at hindi abogado ni Marcos, na nagsasabing walang basehan at panggulo lamang ang mga isinampang petisyon laban dito.

Nito lamang nakaraang buwan, iginiit din ni Ateneo Law Professor at dating DOJ Secretary Alberto Agra na walang basehan ang petisyong isinampa laban kay Bongbong.

Ganito rin ang opinyon ni UST College of Law Dean Nilo Divina at sinabing ang petisyon laban kay Marcos ay “defective in form” at walang legal na basehan.

Nito lamang din isang linggo, 13 abogado mula sa Ateneo Law School at miyembro ng Fraternal Order of Utopia ang nag-alok ng libreng serbisyo para bantayan ang kanyang boto sa darating na halalan.

Si Tipon ay isa ring Fulbright and Smith-Mundt scholar nang kumuha siya ng Master of Laws sa Yale Law School. Nakuha naman niya ang kangyang degree sa abogasya sa University of the Philippines. Nagpa-practice siya ng federal law at pinapayagan siyang mag-abogado sa US Supreme Court, New York at maging sa Pilipinas.

-30-