Petitioner in BBM DQ case files motion for reconsideration

Published February 14, 2022, 6:47 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

One of the petitioners who filed a disqualification case against presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr wants the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division reversed.

Copy of the motion

“It is most respectfully prayed of this Honorable Former First Division of Comelec to reverse the resolution promulgated Feb. 10, 2022 and order the disqualification of the respondent (Marcos),” Abubakar Mangelen said in his motion.

“Clearly, respondent was convicted of failure to file the necessary tax returns from 1982 to 1985. The Honorable Court of Appeals removed the penalty of imprisonment imposed by the Honorable Regional Trial Court but replaced it with an alternative penalty of fine which was then imposable under the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC),” he added.

Mangelen said respondent’s conviction became final and executory and that his conviction under the NIRC is enough to disqualify him as the said Code, “did not distinguish whether the sentence is fine or imprisonment.” He said respondent’s failure to file his income tax return for four taxable years is “tantamount to tax evasion for he did not pay his income tax or the correct amount of tax.”

“Even if the government withheld his tax, this did not exempt the respondent to file his ITR because he might have other sources of income to report aside from his salary. He needed to file his ITR because the taxes withheld out of his salary were not sufficient and his gross salary exceeded his personal exemption. His non-filing of ITR is tantamount to tax evasion, an offense punishable under the old NIRC,” said Mangelen.

He said that this is no doubt “an offense involving moral turpitude.”

“For four times, respondent was convicted for failure to file ITR. Moral turpitude implies something immoral in itself, regardless of the fact that it is punishable by law or not. Respondent had a duty to file but he opted not to. Taxes are the lifeblood of the government without which the government can not pay its expenses in delivering basic services to the people. Ultimately, the people are seriously adversely affected by this. Moral turpitude is an act of baseness, vileness and depravity in the private duties which a man owns his fellowmen, contrary to the accepted and customary role of right and duty or conduct contrary to justice, honesty, modesty and good morals,” he said.

The Comelec First Division on Feb. 10 junked the consolidated petitions of Akbayan, Bonifacio Ilagan and Mangelen against Marcos Jr. for lack of merit.