Last Monday, the Second Division of the Commission on Elections dismissed the petition filed by a group, led by former Supreme Court spokesperson Ted Te, seeking to cancel the certificate of candidacy of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard bearer, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
Using Presidential Decree 1994 which amended the 1977 tax code which took effect in 1986 and 1998 version of the tax code, Te’s group argued that BBM committed material misrepresentation in his CoC when he declared he was not meted a penalty of perpetual disqualification when he was convicted of “tax evasion” for his failure to file his income tax returns in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985.
In fact, it was Te’s group which committed misrepresentation when they substituted the word “or” in provision “fine or imprisonment” with the word “and,” to make it appear BBM should have been meted both penalties.But more importantly, as pointed out by the Court of Appeals in its decision regarding the case, BBM did not commit tax evasion as taxes from his income, being a government official during the time in question, were automatically withheld.
BBM’s spokesman, lawyer Vic Rodriguez hit the nail on the head when he described the petition filed by Te’s group as a manifestation of their “mere creativity for writing and wanting what is not written in the law as basis to cancel the certificate of candidacy of Presidential Aspirant Bongbong Marcos is way too frivolous and unmeritorious to override the basic precepts of the Constitution.”
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