Philippine Supreme Court dismisses efforts to disqualify Marcos presidency

Camille Elemia and Jason Gutierrez
2022.06.28
Manila
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Philippine Supreme Court dismisses efforts to disqualify Marcos presidency Philippine President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. introduces his economic team during a news conference in Metro Manila, June 20, 2022.
BenarNews

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is to be inaugurated as the Philippines' 17th president this week, the culmination of a decades-long struggle to rehabilitate the family name that was once synonymous with corruption.

The Supreme Court removed the final potential stumbling block for Marcos’ return to power when it voted 13-0 on Tuesday to dismiss consolidated cases including a disqualification case and a petition to cancel his candidacy document.

“The court held that … respondent Marcos Jr. is qualified to run for and be elected to public office,” it said in a statement. 

Marcos will be sworn in on Thursday during an inauguration ceremony described as “solemn and simple,” by Franz Imperial, who is heading the inauguration efforts.

“It would be very traditional, because like what BBM said in his vlog, ‘we will not stray from tradition,’” Imperial said, using the initials for Bongbong Marcos, the incoming leader’s nickname.

Marcos will take the oath of office before Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo at noon at the historic National Museum complex in Manila, as written in the constitution. The building had housed the Senate when his late father, Ferdinand E. Marcos, led the legislative body in the 1960s before ruling the country for two decades.

Imperial said an ecumenical invocation is to follow the swearing-in and Marcos will deliver his inaugural address to the nation.

A half-hour military parade will follow before the new president returns to Malacañang Palace where he spent most of his childhood, to formally take possession of the residence. The palace will host officials and foreign dignitaries at an inaugural reception Thursday night.

The ceremony will bring the Marcos family back to power in the Philippines. The last time a Marcos led the country, his father was driven from power by a people’s revolution in 1986 and the family fled to Hawaii.

The elder Marcos’ reign was marked with human rights abuses and massive corruption, leaving the family with an estimated $10 billion in unexplained wealth, according to the Philippine government. Family members have denied any wrongdoing and have refused to apologize. 

 In 2016, President Duterte ordered a hero’s burial for the late dictator, who died in Hawaii in 1989 after three years in exile, despite public outcry.

Income tax issue

The Supreme Court dismissed the consolidated case stemming from Marcos’ 1997 conviction over his failure to file his income tax returns from 1982 to 1985 while he was vice governor and governor of his hometown, Ilocos Norte in northern Philippines. Petitioners alleged that his criminal conviction disqualified him from holding any public office. 

Despite the conviction, Marcos has been able to run for local and national posts, including senator in 2010 and vice president in 2016 before seeking the top office this year. 

The president-elect’s camp had dismissed the case as politically motivated. 

Marcos received more than 31 million votes for president, while his running mate, Sara Duterte, the daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, received 32 million votes for vice president.

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