Akbayan, martial law victims file new DQ case vs Marcos

Published December 2, 2021, 11:18 AM

by Dhel Nazario

A new disqualification case was filed on Thursday, Dec. 2 against presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. by Akbayan Partylist as well as various sectoral leaders and martial law victims before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

(Photo from Akbayan’s Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a 13-page document, the petitioners averred that Marcos Jr. is “perpetually” barred from running for public office due to his 1995 tax evasion conviction. The respondents also stated that Marcos Jr. was convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude and was sentenced to a penalty of imprisonment of more than 18 months.

They cited a 2012 Supreme Court decision on the Jalosjos, Jr. v. Comelec case, saying that the high tribunal held that the election body bears the constitutional duty to, motu proprio, prevent candidates who are perpetually disqualified, like Marcos Jr., from running repeatedly for public office.

“To allow the Comelec to wait for a person to file a petition to cancel the certificate of candidacy of one suffering from perpetual special disqualification will result in the anomaly that these cases so grotesquely exemplify,” the petition stated.

“The Comelec will be grossly remiss in its constitutional duty to ‘enforce and administer all laws’ relating to the conduct of elections if it does not motu proprio bar from running for public office those suffering from perpetual special disqualification by virtue of a final judgment,” it further mentioned.

The petitioners also asserted that Marcos Jr.’s perpetual disqualification from holding any public office, voting, and participating in any election is a disqualification provided by law, specifically by the National Internal Revenue Code of 1977 as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1994.

They also mentioned that the Omnibus Election Code additionally provides that any person who has been sentenced to imprisonment of more than 18 months by final conviction for a crime shall be disqualified from being a candidate and holding any public office.

The petition was signed by Akbayan’s First Nominee Percival Cendaña, former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Etta Rosales, Akbayan Youth Chairperson Dr. RJ Naguit, women leader Jean Enriquez of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW-Asia Pacific), and labor leader Nice Coronacion of the Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO).

Martial law victim-survivor Doris Nuval of Claimants 1081, who according to Akbayan was an organization that won a human rights class suit against the late dictator former president Ferdinand Marcos in Hawaii in 1986, also joined the petition.