GMA News Online : Sara on junking of DQ case vs Bongbong: 'Tuloy-tuloy na ang pangangampanya'

11 February 2022

By ANNA FELICIA BAJO, HANA BORDEY | GMA News Online

Vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte on Friday welcomed the dismissal of the disqualification case against her running mate, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., as this would allow them to focus more on the campaign.

"Of course, this is a welcome development for the UniTeam at nakikita po natin na tuloy-tuloy na 'yung kaniyang kandidatura and tuloy-tuloy na 'yung aming pangangampanya para sa Halalan 2022," the Davao City mayor said in an interview in Nueva Vizcaya.

(Of course, this is a welcome development for the UniTeam. It means his candidacy will continue, and so will our campaign for the 2022 elections.)

Marcos gave a similar response when he was asked for comment by the media after the Commission on Elections Former First Division released its decision on Thursday.

"That is a good result for us," he said. "Hopefully, we can carry on with the campaign with all of these distractions that were put in the way."

Some of Marcos' rivals indicated that they were not too concerned with the move of the poll body to junk the disqualification case.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, reiterated that he would not comment on the matter.

“‘Di na kami magko-comment du’n. Of course water under the bridge. Even before, ‘yung kaso naka-pending, ‘di kami nagko-comment sa ganon,” the presidential candidate told reporters in Tagum City.

(We don’t issue a comment on that matter. Of course, that is water under the bridge. Even before, when it was still pending, we did not issue a comment.)

The consolidated petitions to disqualify Marcos were based on the argument that he was barred from holding public office after he was convicted of failing to file his income tax returns during his term as Ilocos Norte vice governor and later governor (1982 to 1985).

In its ruling, the division said that the penalty of perpetual disqualification for failure to file income tax returns could not be applied to Marcos' tax offenses as these were committed before the January 1986 effectivity of Presidential Decree 1994.

PD 1994, which amended the National Internal Revenue Code of 1977, states a public officer convicted of a crime penalized by the Code shall be perpetually disqualified from holding any public office, voting, and participating in any election.

The decision also said that Marcos' failure to file income tax returns was not a crime which involved moral turpitude.

BBM-Sara UniTeam senatorial candidate and former presidential spokesman Harry Roque thanked the Comelec for upholding democracy.

A former law professor, Roque also said the decision was expected since the petitions had no merit.

Akbayan partylist nominee and petitioner Perci Cendaña said they would appeal the ruling.— VBL, GMA News