THE Commission on Elections did not simply dismiss summarily by unanimous vote the petition to cancel the certificate of candidacy (CoC) of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos but went ahead to discuss what it described as an attempt by the petitioners to deceive the poll body.
The Marcos camp pointed this out a day after the Second Division of the poll body voted to dismiss the petition seeking to cancel his CoC on the ground of material misrepresentation in relation to a case of non-filing of income tax returns (ITR).
“Since the instant petition, which is one for cancellation or denial of due course of a CoC invoked grounds for disqualification, the instant petition should be summarily dismissed. We shall nevertheless relax compliance with the technical rules of procedure and proceed to discuss the merits if only to fully and finally settle the matter in this case because of its paramount importance,” read a part of the 32-page decision of the Second Division penned by Presiding Commissioner Socorro B. Inting.
The petition, filed by a group of Marcos critics represented by former Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te, was aimed at preventing Marcos Jr. from running for President in the upcoming 2022 national elections.
The Marcos camp noted how the ruling cited the petitioners’ attempts to mislead the poll body with allegations and misrepresentations of facts and wrong quotations of certain provisions of the law.
“Petitioners shamelessly cited a certain provision denominated as Section 254 of the 1977 NIRC which they alleged such provision punishes those who fail to file an ITR fine of not less than P10,000 ‘AND’ imprisonment. However, a careful reading of the actual Section 254 of the 1977 NIRC shows that it refers to rentals and royalties and mineral lands under lease.” read another portion of the Second Division’s ruling.
The petitioners’ invocation of Section 254 of the NIRC to make it appear that imprisonment is mandatory punishment “reeks of deliberate intent to deceive or mislead the Commission,” another portion of the ruling read.
Commissioners Antonio T. Kho, Jr. and Rey E. Bulay concurred with the ruling, which lamented what it called an “obvious clutching at straws,” or a desperate
attempt, by the petitioners to convince the poll body to cancel the CoC of Marcos, Jr.
“It somehow becomes ironic when we realize the thought that herein Petitioners accuse Respondent Marcos of misrepresentation while they themselves are guilty of supposed misrepresentations in this very same proceeding,” the decision further read.