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Manila Bulletin : Legal experts convinced Marcos petition stands on 'weak legal ground'

News & Interviews
6 November 2021

By Ben Rosario | Manila Bulletin

Legal experts are in agreement that the petition to cancel the Certificate of Candidacy of 2022 presidential candidate former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. stands on weak legal ground because the basis is “already barred.”

Lawyer Larry Gadon, official senatorial candidate of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, said he agrees with the legal opinion of many top legal experts that there is no way the Commission on Elections will uphold the petitiion.

Ateneo de Manila law professor former Justice Secretary Alberto Agra is convinced there is not enough reason for the Comelec to support the petition.

He noted that former SC Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio stated in the case of Ty-Delgado v. HRET that disqualification arising from a conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude shall be removed after the expiration of a period of five years from his service of sentence under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code.

The former High Court magistrate also used the case of Teves vs. Comelec as his basis in the computation of the said disqualification that has a period of five years saying that “since Pichay served his sentence when he paid the fine on February 17, 2011, the five-year period shall end only on February 16, 2016.” “But Senator Marcos paid the fines in December 2001. Following the SC ruling on the five-year disqualification period, the disqualification case against him has already lapsed,” said Gadon.

He pointed out: “Moreover, a revisit of Marcos’ 1997 tax case facts before the Court of Appeals revealed that the charges involved his failure to file an income tax return and not tax evasion.”

Gadon recalled that in 2009, SC also mentioned in the Republic of the Philippines v. Marcos II case that Marcos did not commit a crime involving moral turpitude.

According to him the ponente stated that “‘failure to file an income tax return’ is not a crime involving moral turpitude”.