[Right-Up] All Souls’ Day and the Petition for Disqualification of BBM | by Norman Novio

#HumanRights #NeverAgaintoTheMarcoses

All Souls’ Day and the Petition for Disqualification of BBM

Yesterday, All Souls’ Day, which was declared by President Rodrigo Duterte as a Special Working Public Holiday, a group of petitioners from the ranks of political detainees, human rights, and medical organizations that opposed the Marcos dictatorship filed a petition to disqualify Ferdinand Marcos Jr. from running as president in the May 2022 elections.

The Petition to Cancel or Deny Due Course the Certificate of Candidacy of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. under Section 78 concerning Section 74, Article IX of the Omnibus Election Code was filed with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), the country’s supreme poll body.

Fr. Christian “Toots” Buenafe, O.Carm. was one of the petitioners and said that Marcos’ Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) is full of false material representations claiming he was eligible to be a candidate for the upcoming national polls when in fact he is not. They claim that BBM is a convicted criminal, ergo, cannot be a candidate. For the record, Marcos was convicted by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City in a July 27, 1995 Decision for his multiple failures to file income tax returns. Apparently, BBM did not pay his taxes for 4 years so it could be classified as tinted with moral turpitude.

Having been convicted by final judgment of a violation of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), Marcos is perpetually disqualified from holding any public office, to vote, and to participate in any election as mandated under the NIRC, according to the Petition. The Petition emphasizes too that the crime is one involving moral turpitude since, among others, Marcos and his family refused and continue to refuse to pay to the Filipino people roughly PhP 203.8 Billion in estate taxes, inclusive of interests, surcharge, and other penalties.

Fr. Toots through his private message to me this morning said that he is praying that the COMELEC will listen to their appeal. He also told me that, “The petition to disqualify Marcos Jr. to hold any public office is a test of the rule of law.” The petitioners’ lawyer is Theodore Te, a human rights lawyer from Free Legal Assistance Group or FLAG and former spox of the Supreme Court.

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