The dream of former senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. to become president of the Philippines like his father hit another roadblock last week after two more petitions were filed before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) seeking to cancel his Certificate of Candidacy (COC).

This brings to seven the number of petitions that would disqualify the 64-year-old son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The Comelec received two more petitions opposing the candidacy of Marcos Jr., one of which was filed by officers and members of the party that adopted him as its presidential bet, the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP). They questioned Marcos Jr.’s membership in the party as the son of the late dictator had always been identified as a leader of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, which was founded by his father at the height of his martial law regime.

The second petition filed last week came from the party-list group Akbayan, which said Marcos Jr. should be disqualified due to his conviction for tax evasion in 1995. Akbayan is led by Etta Rosales, herself a survivor of torture and other atrocities perpetrated by the military during the martial law regime.

The earlier disqualification proceedings against Marcos Jr. were filed by militant groups representing victims of martial law.

With the two petitions filed last week, Marcos Jr. now has to face seven different cases, any one of which could force his presidential bid to end.

The first five petitions have already been raffled off within the Comelec’s divisions which is expected to begin hearings anytime this month.

If any of the cases results in his disqualification or cancellation of his COC, Marcos Jr. is expected to immediately elevate his case before the Supreme Court.

Akbayan’s petition reiterated the argument that Marcos Jr. should be disqualified because he did not file income tax returns for four consecutive years when he was governor of Ilocos Norte.

The petition stated that Marcos Jr.’s conviction was sufficient grounds for disqualification as tax evasion was tantamount to a crime involving moral turpitude. The presidential bet was convicted with finality by the Court of Appeals for which he was sentenced to imprisonment of at least 18 months.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue confirmed late last week that Marcos Jr. had indeed failed to file his income tax returns in the late 90s, nor had he paid the penalties to erase his tax deficiencies.

It was retired Supreme Court associate justice Antonio Carpio who first raised the prospect of Marcos Jr. being disqualified for committing a crime involving moral turpitude.

In a statement, Marcos Jr.’s spokesman Victor Rodriguez said that while they respected the right of every disillusioned group “to take whatever legal action they think would best serve their own agenda…we also expect them to respect our right to be heard.”

It was the petition from PFP members that caught the public by surprise as it was filed by members led by a retired police general and National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Commissioner Abubakar Mangelen.

The petitioners alleged that Marcos Jr. was never an officer or even a member of the party based on their records.

As such, the certificate of nomination and acceptance given to Marcos Jr which was used in the filing of his COC was “unauthorized, unilateral, illegal, and improper.”

Mangelen said most of the party’s members were shocked and surprised that Marcos Jr. had received the PFP’s endorsement without the knowledge and consent of the majority.

This means that the certificate issued to Marcos Jr. was “inoperative, void and non-existent,” their petition said.

Of the seven petitions to disqualify Marcos Jr., at least two are not expected to move forward.

One was filed by a little-known candidate also surnamed Marcos who is also running for president despite lack of a political party or any organization to support him.

Another petition says that the real Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is already dead and that the person running under that name is only a pretender.

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