The basis for the petition to cancel the Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) of 2022 presidential candidate and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. was not only based on false allegations but also legally time-barred.
According to Merriam-Webster, time-barred refers to legal actions "barred by the passage of time under a statute of limitations, statute of repose, or procedural rule". In 2016, then SC Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio stated in the case of Ty-Delgado v. HRET that disqualification arising from a conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude shall be removed after the expiration of a period of five years from his service of sentence under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code. Carpio cited the case of Teves vs. Comelec as his basis in the computation of said disqualification that has an expiration of five years saying that “since Pichay served his sentence when he paid the fine on February 17, 2011, the five-year period shall end only on February 16, 2016.” Marcos settled the fines in December 2001. Following the SC ruling on the five-year disqualification period, the disqualification case against him became time-barred after 2006.
To avoid being time-barred, the petitioners must have brought their disqualification case against Marcos before the end of 2006. A revisit of Marcos’ 1997 tax case facts before the Court of Appeals revealed that the charges actually involved his failure to file an income tax return, and not tax evasion- the alleged ground for disqualification in the recently-filed petition before the COMELEC. It was clear in the Republic of the Philippines v. Marcos case that Marcos did not commit a crime involving moral turpitude.
There was also no mention in the facts of the said case about the tax evasion charge. As agreed by the majority of the Supreme Court justices, it was held that the “‘failure to file an income tax return’ is not a crime involving moral turpitude”.