By Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA – Abubakar Mangelen, one of the petitioners in the dismissed consolidated disqualification cases against presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, on Monday filed a motion for reconsideration.
Mangelen asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division to reverse its February 10 ruling junking the three disqualification cases filed against the son of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos for lack of merit.
The petitioner reiterated that the respondent should not be allowed to run in the May 9 national and local elections for his failure to file the necessary income tax returns (ITRs) from 1982 to 1985.
“Clearly, respondent was convicted of failure to file the necessary Tax Returns from 1982 to 1985. The Honorable Court of Appeals removed the penalty of imprisonment imposed by the Honorable Regional Trial Court but replaced it with an alternative penalty of fine which was then imposable under the NIRC (National Internal Revenue Code),” Mangelen said.
He said Marcos’ conviction became final and executory and under the NIRC “is enough to disqualify him as the said Code, did not distinguish whether the sentence is fine or imprisonment.”
“That respondent failed to file his ITR (income tax return) for four taxable years. This is tantamount to tax evasion for he did not pay his income tax or the correct amount of tax. Even if the government withheld his tax, this did not exempt the respondent to file his ITR because he might have other sources of income to report aside from his salary. He needed to file his ITR because the taxes withheld out of his salary were not sufficient and his gross salary exceeded his personal exemption. His non-filing of ITR is tantamount to tax evasion, an offense punishable under the old NIRC,” he added.
He said the offense “is no doubt” involved moral turpitude.
“For four times, respondent was convicted for failure to file ITR. Moral turpitude implies something immoral in itself, regardless of the fact that it is punishable by law or not. Respondent had a duty to file but he opted not to. Taxes are the lifeblood of the government without which the government cannot pay its expenses in delivering basic services to the people,” he said.
“Ultimately, the people are seriously adversely affected by this. Moral turpitude is an act of baseness, vileness and depravity in the private duties which a man owns his fellowmen, contrary to the accepted and customary role of right and duty or conduct contrary to justice, honesty, modesty and good morals,” the petitioner added.
Last week, the First Division composed of presiding Commissioner Aimee Ferolino and member Commissioner Marlon Casquejo voted to deny the disqualification cases for lack of merit.
The other petitioners were Bonifacio Ilagan et al. and Akbayan et al. (PNA)