Why Bongbong Marcos can’t go to the United States

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Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, whose father ruled the country with a brutal and rapacious hand and whose mother has been convicted of corruption, enjoys a large lead in the early polls for the 2022 presidential race. C is a worrying fact. This shows that underlying currents of change have been bubbling up in Filipino society for years – and have now fully surfaced.

In a previous newsletter I wrote about the factors that helped rehabilitate the Marcos. There is no single explanation for this phenomenon. I am sure that academics, journalists and researchers will write tomes on this phase of our country’s history and help us better understand our society.

We are not unique, however, when it comes to almost or completely restoring disgraced politicians. In Peru, the daughter of an imprisoned ex-president, Keiko Fujimori, led the presidential race last year but lost in a close second round. This was his third candidacy for the presidency.

Park Gyun-hye, daughter of controversial strongman Park Chung-hee, became Korea’s first female president in 2012. She was chased by a corruption scandal, was impeached by parliament in December 2016, and officially ousted three months later when the Supreme Court upheld the decision. . Park was later arrested for corruption.

Bongbong and Marcos Estate

Here at home, supporters of Bongbong Marcos argue that the sins of parents should not be forced on the son. This reasoning seems to be gaining a lot of ground as the son is portrayed as an innocent bystander as the parents looted public coffers, hid them in Swiss banks and elsewhere, and sued to keep them. What is overlooked is the fact that Bongbong himself is involved in at least two cases involving his family’s ill-gotten wealth and is actively involved in the defense of their stolen wealth.

The first has to do with his role as executor of the Marcos estate with his mother, Imelda Marcos. When Ferdinand Marcos died in 1989, his heirs – Imelda, Imee, Bongong and Irene – paid no inheritance tax. At the time, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) calculated the inheritance tax at 23.3 billion pesos. Today, with the accumulation of interest rates and penalties, the amount has soared to 203.8 billion pesos.

This case has reached the Supreme Court. Before that, it was Bongbong who filed a petition with the Court of Appeal challenging the BIR’s tax assessment, leading the family’s defense.

Here is what former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio wrote in his Applicant column last year:

“The Marcos heirs simply ignored all notices sent by the BIR. However, when the BIR notified the Marcos Heirs that real estate in Ferdinand Marcos’ name would be auctioned off to pay the property tax, Bongbong Marcos filed a petition with the Court of Appeal questioning the validity of the inheritance tax assessment on the grounds that the BIR did not have jurisdiction over the assets of the late Marcos because the assets were in the custody of the court estates.

The Court of Appeal dismissed Bongbong Marcos’ petition on the grounds that the assessment of inheritance rights had already become “final and without appeal”. Twenty-four years after the Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s ruling, the Marcos heirs still have not paid the inheritance tax. “

American arrest warrants

In the United States, the cases involve Imelda, Imee, and Bongbong. They are wanted in the United States because they failed to respect the rulings of a Hawaiian court on how seized family assets should have been paid to victims of human rights violations.

Myles Garcia, an American writer who followed the Marcos cases there, wrote in 2016 that a judgment, handed down by a Hawaiian court in 2011, “specifically for violating a US court order not to not dispel their assets, raised the classification of the judgments against the Marcos from “civil” to “criminal” status, thus making the defendants guilty of prison terms.

I asked Garcia, by e-mail, what this means. He said they were “automatically ‘Wanted’ for non-compliance with the law.

Are there real arrest warrants? Garcia said these may have been served on Marcos’ attorney defending their interests in the Hawaii court cases.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno wrote about it in her Facebook post: “Usually po, kapag can declare “contempt” in litigation, perhaps with an arrest warrant against law enforcement authorities and law enforcement authorities.

(“Usually, when there is a declaration of ‘contempt’ against a litigant, the court issues an arrest warrant or authorizes law enforcement authorities to arrest and imprison the person in contempt. until she complies with the court order. “)

What led to this? Garcia wrote in Positively Filipino, an online magazine based in the United States, the context of the cases:

“In January 2011, after 17 years of appeal by the Marcos against previous verdicts (all of which were overturned), forcing Philippine courts to attempt to overturn Hawaiian court judgments, and while making no effort to Responding to some of the judgments, the Hawaii courthouse again slapped Imelda, Bongbong and Imee with another fine of $ 353.6 million for contempt of court.

It was the biggest compensation for a contempt case ever, for ignoring previous court rulings and the tribunal knowing the Marcos could afford to pay. But the Marcos have failed in all of their appeals against… US judgments. “

At the time, Imelda and Bongbong declined to comment on the contempt of court, the Inquirer reported.

As it stands, will presidential candidate Bongbong be able to visit the United States? No, says Ruben Carranza, former commissioner of the Philippine Commission on Good Government. Arrest warrants await the Marcos if they set foot in the United States.

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