Politiko : Tuloy ang pagtakbo! Comelec junks disqualification complaint vs Marcos Jr

10 February 2022

By Politiko

Barring any last-minute appeal from opponents, there is no longer a major stumbling block to former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s presidential run in the May elections.

The Commission on Elections’ First Division has dismissed the disqualification petitions against Marcos for “lack of merit.” The announcement allowing Marcos to run for public office was made by Comelec spokesman James Jimenez on Twitter.

The Comelec’s First Division ruled that the failure to file tax returns was not inherently wrong “in the absence of a law punishing it.” It claimed that Marcos was only slapped with a penalty of a fine for his failure to file his income tax returns.

Commissioner Aimee Ferolino, the ponente, and Commissioner Marlon Casquejo are members of Comelec’s First Division.

The petitioners, however, can still lodge an appeal to reverse the Comelec ruling before the en banc and the Supreme Court.

The poll body’s latest decision was in contrast to the vote of former Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon in favor of Marcos’ disqualification for moral turpitude. Guanzon had criticized the delay in the issuance of the ruling on Marcos case, alleging a senator was behind it. The son of the late dictator earlier faced disqualification complaints in connection with a tax-related conviction in the past.

The Marcos camp meantime welcomed the Comelec’s dismissal of the complaints seeking to disqualify the former senator from the presidential race.

“We again commend the honorable members of the Comelec’s 1st division for upholding the law by dismissing cases that we have long described as nuisance petitions,” Atty. Vic Rodriguez said in a statement.