Manila, Philippines – The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women expressed its support to the petition to disqualify Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., from the presidential race and urged the Commission on Elections to favor this, when it even fell victim to the mass deception campaign of the former.
The petition was based on Marcos Jr.’s ineligibility to run for office due to his 1997 conviction of failure to pay income tax returns when he was vice-governor and governor of Ilocos Norte from 1982 to 1984.
Moreover, the petitioners claimed he misrepresented on his certificate of candidacy when he ticked the “no” box for “if he has ever been found liable for any offense which carries the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from office.” It also cited the 1985 Presidential Decree No. 1994 amendment to the 1977 tax code that “if the offender of the law is a public official, he shall be perpetually disqualified from holding any public office.”
As part of their reply, Marcos Jr’s camp quoted Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez that there was “no clear case for disqualification,” when this was actually from an interview prior to the filing of the petition. Thus, clearly this was not a comment against the petition.
“Pamana talaga ng pamilyang Marcos ang panloloko sa taumbayan. Ngayon pati Comelec ay biktima nito. Bukod sa record ni Marcos Jr., na nagsinungaling ukol sa kanyang educational background, hindi pa nagbayad ng tax, hanggang ngayon, panlilinlang pa rin ang mismong tugon sa petition na nakabatay sa isang court decision at umiiral na batas. Sagad hanggang buto talaga ang kasamaan ng pamilyang Marcos,” Cathy Estavillo, Amihan Secretary-General, who is also the Secretary-General of Anakpawis Party-list, said in a press statement.
Based on the Omnibus Election Code, any person who is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude is disqualified to hold any office. On Supreme Court documents, moral turpitude was defined as “everything which is done contrary to justice, modesty, or good morals; an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes his fellowmen, or to society in general.”
“Walang pagdedebatehan kung guilty ba si Marcos Jr. sa moral turpitude, dahil mismong pamilya nga niya ang imoral na naghari sa bansa. Ang hindi niya pagbabayad ng tax noong nasa puder siya ng local government ng Ilocos Norte ay simtomas lang ng paghahari-harian nila,” Estavillo said.
The group cited Imelda Marcos’ conviction on 7 accounts of graft by the Sandiganbayan that affirmed she is a “criminal” and should be in prison for at least 42 years, based on the decision. The case involved USD200 million of public funds or around P9.8 billion based on the present exchange rate. The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has also reported that P175 billion of Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth was recovered as of 2020, and there are still P126 billion under litigation. According to Amnesty International that during martial law, 70,000 people were imprisoned, 34,000 were tortured, and 3,240 were killed as of 1975.
The Marcos Jr. also slammed the petition as “predictable nuisance,” that the group said reeks of impunity or contempt of the rule of law and court decisions.
“Panggulo ang turing nila sa isang petisyon na wala namang ibang sinasabi kundi ang court decision at umiiral na batas. Mismong statement ni Marcos Jr., ay pag-amin na wala itong kinikilalang batas, at hindi sila sakop nito. Ito ay pag-amin na sila ay namumuhay sa impunity o exempted sila sa accountability sa batas, kakaiba sa ordinaryong mamamayan,” Estavillo slammed.
Amihan urged the Comelec officials to stand by the pillars of democratic governance, rule of law and accountability.
“Hindi na dapat nagpapatumpik-tumpik ang Comelec sa issue na ito, at isipin nila ang kinabukasan ng mga susunod na henerasyon ng mamamayang Pilipino, kung hahayaan nilang makabalik ang pamilyang Marcos sa puder ng kapangyarihan. Dapat na nilang agad na i-disqualify si Marcos, Jr.” the peasant woman leader ended. ###