Petition to cancel Marcos Jr candidacy reaches Supreme Court

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Presidential candidate Ferdinand
Presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. celebrates as he greets the crowd outside his headquarters in Mandaluyong, Philippines on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Marcos' apparent landslide victory in the Philippine presidential election is raising immediate concerns about a further erosion of democracy in Asia and could complicate American efforts to blunt growing Chinese influence and power in the Pacific. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

The petition to cancel the certificate of candidacy of presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. reached the Supreme Court on Tuesday (May 17).

The petitioners, represented by former SC spokesperson Theodore Te, asked the high court to issue a temporary restraining order to stop Congress from canvassing votes for Marcos and from proclaiming him president, because of Marcos’ material misrepresentations in his certificate of candidacy.

“This Petition prays for the invalidation and reversal of the Questioned COMELEC Resolutions for having been rendered in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction,” the petition for Certiorari read.

"Consequently, respondent Marcos Jr. must be deemed to have never been a candidate from the very beginning, his candidacy invalidated, and the votes attributed to him considered stray," it added.

The said petition was reportedly filed in November by a group of civic leaders led by Fr. Christian Buenafe of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines and Fides Lim of political prisoners' group KAPATID.

The petition–which was junked by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) a day after the May 9 elections– said that Marcos committed a crime of moral turpitude and perjury for making false representations in his COC on his eligibility despite his tax conviction.

“Considering respondent Marcos, Jr.’s ineligibility arising from his conviction and respondent COMELEC’s evasion of its positive duty to CANCEL his COC, there is need to enjoin the CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES from canvassing the votes cast in favor of respondent Marcos, Jr.,” the petition stated.

"Elections are more than a numbers game," the petitioners wrote. "The will of the people as expressed through the ballot cannot cure the vice of ineligibility. The balance must always tilt in favor of upholding and enforcing the law."

The petitioners highlighted that Marcos was convicted by a Quezon City court for his multiple failures to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985 when he was governor and vice governor of Ilocos Norte.

They also noted the Marcoses’ family estate tax liability, estimated to have reached P203 billion due to surcharges and interest, as proof of Marcos Jr.’s “propensity to flour Philippine laws,” saying that there is no showing that the Marcos heirs paid their debt.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom.

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