Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez (BusinessMirror courtesy)
MANILA — Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez on Wednesday said the disqualification case filed against Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. has no clear basis.
Jimenez noted that in order to be disqualified, a candidate must have been convicted of a crime constituting “moral turpitude,” or an offense with at least an 18-month jail term.
According to Jimenez, Bongbong does not fit the criteria, and that there is no clear basis for the disqualification case.
“He doesn’t meet this criteria. Right now there is no clear case for disqualification,” Jimenez said in an interview with the media.
Several groups and personalities with known ties to the Liberal Party (LP) on Tuesday submitted a petition with the poll body seeking to cancel or deny the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of the former senator over supposed “false material representation” stemming from a 1995 tax case.
In response, Marcos’s Chief of Staff Atty. Vic Rodriguez issued a statement that read, ” We shall address this predictable nuisance Petition at the proper time and forum – after we receive the OFFICIAL copy of the same.”
The petitioners questioned Marcos’ eligibility to seek the Presidency in next year’s polls after paying a Court of Appeals (CA) mandated fine in 1997 for a tax case.
“Until then, we will refrain from commenting on their propaganda. Our camp does NOT engage in gutter politics. Our campaign is about nation-building. For Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos, this election is about the future of the Filipino people,” Rodriguez added.
In a separate radio interview also on Wednesday, Marcos said, “Sasagutin na lang namin ito pagdating. Siguro kasama na rin yan sa pulitika. Lalo na yung aming mga kalaban ay imbes na humarap sa eleksyon… kasi siguro natatakot sila sa numero, ididisqualify na lang ako. Pero hindi ako natatakot, hindi ako aatras, patuloy ang lahat ng aking gagawin, hindi ako mag-slide down. Patuloy lang ang aking kandidatura at sa aking mga supporters sa buong Pilipinas, nagpapasalamat ako na hindi nawawala ang inyong tiwala sa akin.”