Bongbong Marcos faces 7th petition against his presidential bid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 7) — Presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is facing another disqualification case before the Commission on Elections.

Members of group Pudno Nga Ilokano on Tuesday filed a disqualification case against the son and namesake of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

It is the fourth disqualification case and the seventh petition against Marcos' presidential bid.

The group cited Marcos' conviction for failure to file income tax returns during his term as Ilocos Norte governor and vice governor, the same argument raised by other petitioners. The group also argued that Marcos was penalized with perpetual special disqualification from the right of suffrage, which bars him from running for president in the 2022 elections.

"Marcos has been convicted four times by the (Quezon City Regional Trial Court) and the conviction is for the violation of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), and even during that time that this happened, the law at the time provides for special perpetual disqualification," said legal counsel Paolo Santiago.

"He is a government official who failed to file his proper taxes. Another is that under the NIRC, there is also a special disqualification to exercise the right of suffrage, ibig sabihin (that means) he is not a proper voter of the Philippines, and one of the qualifications to become a president of the Philippines is you must be a registered voter in the Philippines," he added.

Petitioners in the latest disqualification case are Margarita Salonga Salandanan, Crisanto Ducusin Palabay, Mario Flores Ben. Danilo Austria Consumido, Gil Fernando Derillo, Raoul Hafalla Tividad, Nida Mallare Gatchallan, and Nomer Calulot Kuan.

Palabay, the member of the group, also claimed that there is no such thing as "Solid North" anymore.

"Kaming mga Ilocano, naniniwala na hindi talaga, wala nang Solid North. Kami po ang mga biktima ng karahasan noong Martial Law," he added.

[Translation: We Ilocanos believe that there's no Solid North. We are victims of abuse under the Martial Law.]

In a statement, Marcos' spokesperson Vic Rodriguez said all of the cases filed before the poll body are now being addressed by their legal team.

"And while we maintain that these petitions are nothing but nuisance cases, we urge those who are behind these pathetic stunts to please respect the Filipino people and their democratic right to decide for themselves and their collective future," he added.

So far, three of the disqualification petitions have been raffled off to the Comelec's First Division. Marcos is also facing two petitions and a petition-in-intervention seeking to cancel his certificate of candidacy for president and another one seeking to declare him as a nuisance candidate before the Second Division.