Nov 4, 2021 @ 14:15

Advance mag-isip! Carpio predicts how Marcos Jr. will respond to disqualification, lays out rebuttals

Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is two steps ahead in predicting the turnout of the hearings on the plea to stop dictator’s son Bongbong Marcos from joining the presidential race in 2022.

A week after raising the issue in his Philippine Daily Inquirer column – which may have inspired human rights groups and Martial Law victims to put together a petition to cancel Marcos Jr.’s certificate of candidacy for the Commission on Elections – Carpio now discussed how the petitioners could respond to the defense of the Marcos camp.

Based on his assessment, Marcos would have a tough time refuting the petition since he met both of the two grounds raised for his disqualification.

“First, Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) disqualifies any candidate who has been convicted by final judgment of ‘any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than eighteen months or for a crime involving moral turpitude,'” Carpio said.

“Second, Section 253(c) of the Tax Code provides that “any public officer” who is convicted of any crime penalized by the Tax Code is ‘perpetually disqualified from holding any public office, to vote and to participate in any election.’ Either one of these two grounds is sufficient to disqualify Marcos Jr.”

Carpio added that the penalties under the National Internal Revenue Code, which disqualifies a person who did not comply with the filing and/or payment of income tax from public office, has been in force since 1939 – or decades before the guilty verdict on Marcos’ ITR from 1983-1986.

“Marcos Jr. is also expected to argue that since the Court of Appeals did not impose on him any imprisonment but merely fined him, the crime he committed does not involve moral turpitude. This issue was resolved by the Supreme Court in Villaber v. Commission on Elections, where the Court ruled that a crime still involves moral turpitude even if the penalty of imprisonment imposed is reduced to a fine,” the legal expert added.

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