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Manila Standard : BBM camp: Let petitioners do due diligence; ‘Marcos failed to pay fines in non-filing of ITR case’

News & Interviews
3 December 2021

By Manila Standard

Presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. not only failed to file his income tax returns in the 1980s, he also has yet to pay the fines imposed by the court, petitioners seeking his disqualification said.

Theodere Te, lawyer of the group of Martial Law victims seeking to cancel Marcos’ certificate of candidacy for president, issued the statement after the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 105 said there is no record on their file on Marcos’ “compliance of payment or satisfaction” on the decision of the said court in 1995, as well as the Court of Appeals verdict in 1997.

“Among these documents is a Certification issued by the Acting Presiding Judge that Mr. Marcos Jr. has not satisfied the judgment of the court in these cases,” Te said after the petitioners updated their case on Friday.

The camp of the former senator declined to give a categorical answer on the substantive aspect of the petition.

Marcos spokesman Vic Rodriguez said it is up to the petitioners to “do their [due] diligence].”

“We will not supply them with whatever is missing,” Rodriguez said.

In his own answer to the Comelec filed last month through his lawyer, Estelito Mendoza, Marcos said the CA’s first order was “unclear.”

“It does not specify the particular deficiency income tax which the appellant is required to pay with interest at the rate until fully paid. What is clear is that defendant BBM is ordered to pay a fine,” said Mendoza’s answer for Marcos.

The group of Martial Law victims said Marcos was convicted for his failure to file his income tax returns. The tax cases were decided on July 27, 1995 by the QC RTC and by the Court of Appeals in its decision on October 31, 1997.

Earlier, the camp of Marcos said there is no basis for the cancellation of his COC since the former senator had not been convicted of an offense carrying a penalty of perpetual disqualification from public office.

Meanwhile, lawyers from the Ateneo Law School have offered their free legal services for Marcos’ presidential campaign to guard his vote and assure him of victory in the 2022 national polls.

The lawyers, who are also members of the Fraternal Order of Utopia, visited the office of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) Secretary General retired Gen. Thompson Lantion at BBM headquarters in Mandaluyong City Thursday afternoon.

“They are here to offer their free legal services to BBM-Sara UniTeam,” Lantion said after meeting the lawyers.

He added that “hundreds more are coming pro bono from various lawyers’ groups. They want to be part of our vote protection teams which will ensure that the 2016 poll fraud that victimized BBM will not happen again.”

Richard Brett Uy, one of the lawyers who offered free legal services, said they wanted to focus on safeguarding Bongbong’s vote.

Enrico Alday, Jr. said more lawyers will be joining them in the coming days.

“This is pure volunteerism. We are also willing to do the leg work especially during the printing of the ballots. We are actually willing to volunteer for that. We are also willing to help with the canvassing of the votes,” Uy said.