Election lawyer says BBM disqualification case won’t prosper

Election lawyer says BBM disqualification case won’t prosper

Leading presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos

By Junex Doronio

November 4, 2021

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu – As ordinary citizens frown on the disqualification case filed by a group of activists against presidential aspirant former Senator Bongbong Marcos who has been leading in the surveys lately, an election lawyer on Thursday expressed doubt that the move will prosper.

A group of political detainees, human rights, and medical organizations petitioned the Comelec on Tuesday, November 2, to cancel Marcos’ certificate of candidacy (COC) for president in the 2022 polls claiming that the former senator is not eligible to run for public office since the Quezon City Regional Trial Court had convicted him in 1995 for tax evasion.

“Isang basehan para hindi ka puwedeng manungkulan ay kung ikaw ay sentensiyado sa isang krimen (One of the basis that will prevent you from to hold public office is that you’ve been sentenced to) more than 18 months or crime involving moral turpitude,” Lawyer Alberto Agra, from the Ateneo de Manila University, pointed out.

He noted that the disqualification case filed against Marcos before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) “lacked a crucial component” as the Court of Appeals reduced the penalty on the tax evasion case against the former senator and was merely ordered to pay a fine.

In a random interview by Maharlika TV, some residents expressed bewilderment why the tax evasion case against Marcos was raised only now when he was leading in some surveys as the preferred presidential candidate in 2022.

“Hindi siya (He was not) sentenced to imprisonment,” Agra said in an interview.

He continued: “Ang nangyari siya ay nahatulan pero ang kanyang parusa ay walang imprisonment (What happened was he was sentenced but his punishment does not carry imprisonment). Ang parusa niya ay fine lamang (His penalty was only a fine).”

Meanwhile, the Marcos camp in a statement said Agra’s position on the disqualification case against the standard-bearer of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) showed the “ill-natured intent of those pushing for his (Marcos’) disqualification.”

Marcos spokesman Vic Rodriguez has assured the public that the only son and namesake of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos “remains focused on nation-building and turning his clear vision of creating a better future for the country and every Filipino into reality.” (ia/mtvn)

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