Marcos 'not above law', still faces legal issues under his presidency—1Sambayan convenor

Published May 16, 2022, 11:43 AM

by Raymund Antonio

A lawyer of one of the groups that asked for presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s disqualification from the 2022 presidential race said that the former senator will be in power to decide on the myriad of issues that face his family, including reparation for the human rights victims during his father’s Martial Law regime and his own unpaid tax liabilities.

Presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Lawyer Howard Calleja, a convenor of opposition coalition 1Sambayan, stressed that Marcos will need to prove what he said that “no one is above the law.”

“So he should not be above the law. Although he cannot be sued, pero there are pending issues that he has to address. So, tignan natin how he would address these issues as president of the– if declared–and taken oath as president of the country,” he said on Sunday, May 15, during the Vice President Leni Robredo’s radio show over dzXL.

With a 16-million lead over runner-up Robredo, Marcos is expected to be proclaimed the winner of the 2022 presidential race.

“Sabi ko nga, siya rin ang magpapatupad ng batas na yan na nagsasabing kailangan lahat nga bigyan ng reparation o bigyan ng pabuya ‘yung mga namatay, na-violate noong panahon ng kaniyang ama (As I’ve said, he’ll implement the law that says those killed or violated during his father’s time will be given reparation or reward),” the lawyer explained.

Calleja furthered that the former senator also has to implement a ruling that states he has to pay the penalty for his failure to file an income tax return a year before his family was exiled to Hawaii in 1986.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) must also follow up on some P203-billion, including penalty fees and interests, worth of unpaid estate taxes.

As for the Feb. 25 commemoration of the EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos’ 20-year rule and effectively forced the family out of the country, the presumed president needed a law that will amend this holiday.

Calleja said he expects to see how Marcos will decide on Feb. 25 being a holiday, as well as the commemoration of former democracy icon’s Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.’s death on Aug. 21 and Marcos Sr.’s birth anniversary on Sept. 21, this year.

“Medyo siguro itong isang taon na itong mangyayari na ito kung madeklara, kung maging tunay nga ‘yung mga pangyayari, ay marami tayong makikita (Maybe in this one year, we will see what will happen if he will be declared, if what happened will be true, we will see a lot of things),” he added.

The presumed president might also choose to eliminate the Aquino representations in government properties and rename the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), where the former senator was gunned down, to Manila International Airport (MIA).

However, it is up to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to remove the Aquinos’ images from the P500 bill, according to Calleja.