“I was right.”
That’s was the reaction of former Commissioner Rowena Guanzon to the dismissal of the consolidated disqualification cases against presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. by the Commission on Elections First Division on Thursday, February 10.
Comelec Commissioners Aimee Ferolino and Marlon Casquejo voted for the dismissal of the cases, Guanzon said on her Facebook page.
“The consolidated petitions of Ilagan v. Marcos Jr., Akbayan v. Marcos Jr., and Mangelen v. Marcos Jr. have been dismissed for lack of merit, by the COMELEC’s First Division,” the commission’s spokesperson James Jimenez also said in a Tweet Thursday.
The complainants sought to disqualify Marcos for failing to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985.
But the resolution of the First Division written by Ferolino said: “Contrary to petitioner’s assertion, the penalty of perpetual disqualification by reason of failure to file income tax returns was not provided for under the original 1977 NIRC (National Internal Revenue Code).”
“To be clear, the penalty of perpetual disqualification came into force only upon the effectivity of P.D. (Presidential Decree) No. 1994 on 01 January 1986. Thus, the penalty cannot be made to apply to Respondent’s (Marcos) tax violations, which were committed before the effectivity of the said law, in accord with the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws,” she added.
Guanzon, before she retired, accused Ferolino of delaying the release of the resolution so her vote would not be counted.
She released her separate opinion on January 31 declaring Marcos disqualified from running for president, saying his failure to file income tax returns from 1982 to 1985 constitute an offense involving moral turpitude .
Guanzon, who is from Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, said a senator was influencing Ferolino to delay the release of the resolution, a charge Ferolino denied.
Vic Rodriguez, chief of staff and spokesperson of Marcos, said.
“We again commend the honorable members of the Comelec’s 1st Division for upholding the law by dismissing cases that we have long described as nuisance petitions.”*