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What does the petition to cancel BBM’s COC mean for Leni?

By Mavic Conde

Unqualified. That is the core basis of the petition to cancel presumptive President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s certificate of candidacy (COC), filed at the Supreme Court Tuesday, May 17.

The petitioners, who include Fr. Christian Buenafe, tells the SC that "A candidate's putative election victory cannot cure his ineligibility. Elections are more than just a numbers game."

The petition seeks for a Temporary Restraining Order on election canvassing, and declares Marcos Jr.'s candidacy void on the ground of his tax conviction case in 1995.

"Respondent Marcos, Jr.'s status as a public officer at that time of the commission of the offense he was convicted of is a conclusive and incontrovertible fact," the petition reads. For concluding Marcos Jr. as a private individual instead of a public officer in 1986, according to the petition," the COMELEC erred and committed a grave abuse of discretion."

The petition added that the Regional Trial Court that convicted Marcos Jr. and the Court of Appeals which affirmed his conviction ascertained that he was former vice-governor and later governor of Ilocos Norte from November 3, 1982 to March 31, 1986.

Marcos Jr. failed to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985. He was found guilty of violation of Section 45 of National Internal Revenue Code and ordered “to pay the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) the deficiency income tax due with interest at the legal rate until fully paid.”

Although not in the official request, the petition also cited Maquiling vs Comelec, which declared that "the second placer in the vote count [Leni Robredo] is actually the first-placer among the qualified candidates."

Election lawyer Emil Marañon said in a tweet that the SC could still rule beyond proclamation.


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