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Supreme Court Scraps Disqualification Petitions Against Bongbong Marcos

No stopping him now.
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Just days before his inauguration as the 17th president of the Philippines on June 30, president-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. has cleared his final legal hurdle after the Supreme Court junked the petitions against his candidacy.

"The Court held that in the exercise of its power to decide the present controversy led them to no other conclusion but that respondent Marcos Jr. is qualified to run for and be elected to public office. Likewise, his Certificate of Candidacy (COC), being valid and in accord with the pertinent law, was rightfully upheld by the Comelec," wrote the Supreme Court Public Information Office in a release.

The SC en banc voted 13-0 to scrap the pleas that challenged the Commission on Elections' ruling on Marcos' COC, upholding that his candidacy was valid based on the COMELEC's mandate.

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The Buenafe petition, which was filed by civic leaders represented by former Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te, sought the cancellation of Marcos’ COC because of the supposed "misrepresentations pertaining to his eligibility due to his prior convictions under the 1977 [National Internal Revenue Code]."

Another petition, which was filed by Martial Law victims led by writer and activist Bonifacio Ilagan, had looked into disqualifying Marcos on the basis of his non-filing of income tax returns for four years. The Ilagan petition argued that "Comelec (En Banc) acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it issued its Resolution denying the Motion for Reconsideration and affirming the Comelec (Former First Division) Resolution."

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These petitions both lost at the COMELEC division and later at the commission en banc, leading them to be taken up with the Supreme Court.

It was Associate Justice Rodil Zalameda who penned the final ruling. Associate Justices Henri Jean Paul Inting and Antonio Kho Jr., on the other hand, abstained from making the decision. This is because Kho was the elections commissioner before his SC appointment while Inting is the sister of one of the sitting COMELEC commissioners.

However, a full copy of the SC decision has yet to be released to the public. Petitioners may still file for a motion for reconsideration, but it will be even more challenging to do so, considering a unanimous  decision of the Court this time.

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