Petitioners seeking to cancel presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s certificate of candidacy (COC) need to build a strong case regarding his conviction for tax evasion to bolster the argument that he can’t run in the 2022 elections.
In his December 5 column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, retired Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban detailed some of the legal obstacles that must be resolved by the petitioners against Marcos.
“In sum, if the petitioners can show that BB’s (Bongbong’s) conviction by the CA involves moral turpitude and that the five-year prescriptive period does not embrace moral turpitude, OR his alleged payment is false, inadequate, or ill-timed, his COC should be canceled; if they cannot, he should be allowed to continue his quest,” he said.
Panganiban said Marcos may be liable for making a “false material representation” in his COC because law and jurisprudence states that any person who has been sentenced by final judgment for a crime involving moral turpitude should be disqualified from holding public office.
However, the retired Chief Justice also said that the case against Marcos may falter if he can show proof that he paid the fine for tax evasion as ordered by the court.
“The payment of the fine is the ‘service of the sentence.’ Therefore, he did not commit a ‘false material representation’ in alleging in his COC that he was ‘eligible,’ or in denying any liability for perpetual disqualification,” Panganiban said.
He urged the Commission on Elections’ second division to resolve the petition against Marcos immediately since the ruling will likely be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.