The Supreme Court has received the petition to disqualify Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s candidacy earlier today, May 16, 2022.
The petition was filed by Fr. Christian Buenafe, Fides Lim, Ma. Edeliza Hernandez, Celia Lagman Sevilla, Roland Vibal, and Josephine Lacsano state that Marcos is ineligible to run for the highest position in the country and that his Certificate of Candidacy should be “canceled and declared void ab initio” [having no legal effect from inception].
On May 10, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) First Division dismissed the appeal to disqualify the late dictator’s son’s presidential candidacy based on “moral turpitude” as he failed to file his income tax returns in the 1990s. The Electoral Board said the case lacked merit.
The petitioners appealed to the Supreme Court and emphasized the ineligibility of Marcos to run for office and that the court should uphold the rule of law. The petitioners argued that despite the favorable votes the former senator received, this will not change the fact that there is a “defect in the qualifications of the candidate.”
They also sought the Supreme Court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) stopping the Congress of the Philippines in canvassing the votes. The petition also stated that the rest of the eligible candidates should not be affected by the canvassing of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Since the 2022 National and Local Elections have ended, the petitioners suggested a solution if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the disqualification of Marcos. It cited an obiter dictum in a case decided on July 3, 1992, which says that if the participant was found to be ineligible, the victor will then be disqualified and will be awarded to the next candidate with the highest vote.