The camp of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has belittled his tax conviction case as “just like jaywalking.”

Marcos in 1995 was found “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” of tax evasion by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QC RTC) Branch 105 for his failure to file his income tax returns from 1982 to 1984 and pay his income taxes from 1982 to 1985.

“You know what the alleged crime is? It’s just like jaywalking e. It’s just like a traffic violation,” George Briones, general counsel of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), said in an interview over ANC on Nov. 17.

Marcos is running for president under PFP.

Briones claimed the tax evasion cases against Marcos stemmed from “persecution” by post-Marcos presidents Corazon Aquino (president from February 1986 to June 1992) and Fidel Ramos (president from June 1992 to June 1998).

“You know who was president when these people made this judgment? President Fidel Ramos, ally of Cory Aquino. When he was convicted—this is persecution e—when he was charged, the president was Cory Aquino,” Briones said.

The late dictator’s son is facing a disqualification case for allegedly falsifying his certificate of candidacy “when he claimed that he was eligible to be a candidate for president of the Philippines in the 2022 national elections when in fact he is disqualified from doing so.”

A 57-page petition, filed by petitioners Fr. Christian Buenafe, Fides Lim, Ma. Edeliza Hernandez, Celia Lagman Sevilla, Roland Vibal and Josephine Lascano, said that the QC RTC’s conviction of Marcos “was upheld by the Court of Appeals and no longer appealed to the Supreme Court, thereby becoming a final and unappealable conviction.”

“Having been convicted by final judgment of a violation of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), Marcos is perpetually disqualified from holding any public office, to vote, and to participate in any election as mandated under the NIRC,” the petitioners said.

Marcos is facing two more disqualification cases, which both assert that the former senator made a “material misrepresentation” in his certificate of candidacy for his failure to file his income tax returns.

The Commission on Elections has given Marcos until Nov. 22 to submit his response to the first disqualification case against him. John Ezekiel J. Hirro