No ifs, ands, or buts: Marcos Jr. lied in his COC
Allow us our own riff on the petition to cancel the certificate of candidacy (COC) of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for president. The question asked in the COC was in plain and easily understandable language: “Have you ever been found liable for an offense which carries with it the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from public office, which has become final and executory?”
Marcos Jr. answered NO because, as his lawyers now argue, he was never convicted of any offense “involving moral turpitude,” which the Omnibus Election Code requires for any final conviction to warrant disqualification from public office. While he was, indeed, convicted of an offense under Presidential Decree No. 1158 (Tax Code of 1977, his own father’s decree), his lawyers posit that the imprisonment imposed therein was set aside by the Court of Appeals in its final judgment, thereby negating “moral turpitude.”
But shorn of all gobbledygook, Marcos Jr. did blatantly lie. In reality, that conviction by the Court of Appeals stayed despite the egregious error it made by violating the law which ordained mandatory fine and imprisonment for that offense. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Marcos Jr. was, in fact, “found (by final and executory judgment) liable for an offense (under PD 1158) which carries with it … perpetual disqualification from public office”!
This false declaration in his current COC is a repetition of the false declarations he made in the COCs for various government positions in the past, the most notable of which was for senator and then for vice president in 2016. The former senator was not confused in his reading of a simple question. He is just an incorrigible liar. That no one had called him out on those falsifications to get him disqualified before is no argument to let him slip through the process once more.
JAN VINCENT MARTINEZ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.