THE Commission on Elections (COMELEC) did not simply dismiss summarily by unanimous vote the petition to cancel the CoC of presidentiable Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. but went ahead to discuss what it described as a deliberate attempt by the petitioners to deceive the poll body.
“Since the instant petition, which is one for cancellation or denial of due course of a CoC invoked grounds for disqualification, the instant petition should be summarily dismissed. We shall nevertheless relax compliance with the technical rules of procedure and proceed to discuss the merits if only to fully and finally settle the matter in this case because of its paramount importance,” read a part of the 32-page decision of the Second Division penned by Presiding Commissioner Socorro B. Inting.
The petition, filed by a group of Marcos critics represented by former Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te, was aimed at preventing Marcos Jr. from running for President in the upcoming 2022 national elections.
The ruling enumerated the attempts of the petitioners to mislead the poll body with their allegations and misrepresentations of facts and wrong quotations of certain provisions of the law.
“Petitioners shamelessly cited a certain provision denominated as Section 254 of the 1977 NIRC which they alleged such provision punishes those who fail to file an ITR fine of not less than P10,000 ‘AND’ imprisonment. However, a careful reading of the actual Section 254 of the 1977 NIRC shows that it refers to rentals and royalties and mineral lands under lease.” read another portion of the Second Division’s ruling.
The misrepresentation made by the petitioners on Section 254 of the NIRC to make it appear that imprisonment is mandatory punishment “reeks of deliberate intent to deceive or mislead the Commission,” another portion of the ruling read.
Commissioners Antonio T. Kho, Jr. and Rey E. Bulay concurred with the ruling, which lamented what it called an “obvious clutching at straws,” or a desperate attempt, by the petitioners to convince the poll body to cancel the CoC of Marcos, Jr.
“It somehow becomes ironic when we realize the thought that herein Petitioners accuse Respondent Marcos of misrepresentation while they themselves are guilty of supposed misrepresentations in this very same proceeding,” the decision further read.