By John Victor D. Ordoñez and Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter
A FORMER election commissioner on Friday cited inconsistencies in a division’s ruling allowing the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos to run for president this year.
The decision written by Commissioner Aimee P. Ferolino was full of contradictions, retired Commissioner Maria Rowena V. Guanzon, who used to preside over the First Division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), said in a Facebook post on Friday.
“If there is no law punishing the nonfiling of the income tax returns, how was the regional trial court able to convict Marcos, Jr.?” she asked, referring to former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr.
The division on Thursday said Mr. Marcos’s failure to file tax returns in the 1980s, for which he was convicted a decade later for tax evasion, did not involve wicked, deviant behavior.
“In ruling out moral turpitude, Ferolino relied exclusively on the elements of the offense,” said Ms. Guanzon, who earlier accused her fellow commissioner of delaying the case so her vote would not be counted. “This is wrong.”
“Determination of whether an offense involves moral turpitude is a question of fact and depends on all the surrounding circumstances,” she added.
Ms. Guanzon earlier alleged that a senator from Davao was meddling in the lawsuit filed by survivors of the dictator’s martial law regime.
“If Ferolino has any shame left, she should inhibit herself from voting on the motion for reconsideration,” she tweeted separately.
The petitioners would seek reconsideration of the ruling next week, Howard M. Calleja, their lawyer, told a news briefing.
“We will continue to exhaust all remedies available to bring out the truth, to attain justice and to bring the issue to the proper legal conclusion it deserves,” he said.
Bonifacio P. Ilagan, a martial law victim and one of the petitioners, said the ruling has strengthened their doubts about Comelec’s integrity.
Marcos lawyer and spokesman Victor D. Rodriguez applauded the Comelec ruling on Tuesday night, calling the lawsuits “nuisance.”
“Enough of the quarrel, enough of the conflict,” he said in a statement in Filipino.
The Marcos family was forced to flee the country in 1986 after a popular street uprising supported by military generals toppled the dictator’s regime. Marcos, Jr. was among the first members of the family to return to the Philippines from exile in the United States in 1991.