Manila Standard : ’Non-filing of ITR, not tax evasion’

5 November 2021

By Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard

The camp of presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. said Thursday the non-filing of income tax returns was different from tax evasion.

Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ spokesperson, said the petition for disqualification against the former senator was just a propaganda orchestrated by “yellow wannabe political assassins.”

“This is just propaganda of the yellow wannabe political assassins.

There is no tax evasion in the case of presidential aspirant Bongbong

Marcos. His case is simply about his non-filing of ITR (income tax returns),” Rodriguez said.

“It is wrong to call him a tax evader because the judgment was on the basis of his failure to file income tax return,” he added.

From 1982 to 1985, Rodriguez said Marcos was sitting as governor of Ilocos Norte and his taxes should have been filed by the provincial capitol.

“If that is 1985, then I think he was sitting as a governor. There is someone from the capitol who manages the filing of their taxes.

Nonetheless, the issue here is there's no conviction on tax evasion, only for the non-filing of ITR because the courts can penalize you for the non-filing, and in this case, he was just asked to pay for the penalties,” he said.

Rodriguez also branded the petition against Marcos as “nuisance.”

“There is no moral turpitude in his case. This is, by any stretch of imagination, a very weak case,” he said.

“We feel sorry for the Comelec because they are being used as their propaganda venues, a launchpad for propaganda,” he added.

Rodriguez maintained that the tax case against Marcos had been litigated and answered many years back.

On Tuesday, several human rights groups raised Marcos’ conviction on July 27, 1995 for failure to file income tax returns several times from 1982 to 1985.

The petitioners said Marcos was ineligible to run for office on ground of moral turpitude due to the controversial tax case.

Meanwhile, the process of resolving petitions for the cancelation of certificates of candidacy could take at least six weeks, Comelec spokesman Director James Jimenez said.

In an interview on Dobol B sa TV, Jimenez explained the process of how the poll body would resolve a certain petition calling for a cancellation of a COC.

He said the petition would first be raffled off to one of the Comelec divisions, which would issue summons.

"Two separate days were given. Five days to respond and three days to submit a memorandum but that five days depend on when they will receive the notice,” Jimenez said.

"So, we will send a notice. Maybe next week, we will conduct a raffle and after that we will send a notice. So it might take at least six weeks to resolve the issue.”