MARTIAL LAW victims have asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) full court to reverse a division ruling that allowed the only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos to run for president this year.

In a 29-page motion for reconsideration, the plaintiffs said former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr.’s repeated failure to file his income tax returns is “contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals.“

“The division’s gratuitous statement that failure to file an income tax return is’’not inherently wrong’ as it is ‘only an obligation created by law and the omission to do so is only considered as wrong because the law penalizes it’ is clearly devoid of any basis both in fact and in law,” according to a copy of the pleading filed by lawyer Christian S. Monsod, a former Comelec chief and constitutional framer.

The First Division last week junked the last disqualification case against Mr. Marcos within Comelec’s two divisions, as it ruled that his failure to file his income tax returns in the 1980s did not reflect moral depravity.

The case was originally handled by the Second Division but was transferred to the other division after a reorganization, according to a Comelec memo in February.

“All indications of the flaw in character, blatant disregard of the law and trampling of the justice system by Marcos, Jr. are clearly manifested by his actions and ommissions,” the plaintiffs said.

The group of martial law victims earlier asked Comelec to bar Mr. Marcos from the presidential race after he was convicted for tax evasion in the 1990s.

They filed two “extremely urgent motions for Comelec to resolve the pending case, noting that delaying the case would complicate this year’s presidential election.

The latest decision favoring the dictator’s son echoed the February ruling written by Commissioner Aimee P. Ferolino, who said there is no punishing one’s failure to file income tax returns.

The Second Division rejected a similar petition in January as it ruled Mr. Marcos did not mislead the public when he said in his certificate of candidacy that he was eligible to run for president. The case is also on appeal with the en banc.

Ms. Ferolino had been accused of delaying one of the cases. She denied the allegations and said it was a minor issue that would not affect the credibility of the commission as a whole.

Retired Election Commissioner Maria Rowena V. Guanzon had accused her of delaying the case so her vote for disqualification would not count. She also said a senator from Davao was meddling in the case.

“Marcos, Jr.’s repeated violation of the law is reflective of and constitutes an act of baseness in the duties which he owes his fellow Filipinos and his country,” the plaintiffs said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez