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Eleksyon 2013

RTC junks disqualification case, allows Erap to run for Manila mayorship

March 6, 2013 7:51pm

Manila's Regional Trial Court Branch 20 has dismissed a case that sought to disqualify former President Joseph Estrada from running as mayor of Manila.

In a resolution promulgated February 19, 2013, but received Wednesday by Estrada’s lawyer Francisco Chavez, Judge Marivic Balisi-Umali declared that petitioners Romeo de Leon and Mariel Limueco lacked legal standing in filing their petition in December last year.

Also, the Court pointed out that Estrada was qualified to run in the presidential elections of 2010, noting that his pardon, whether absolute or conditional, could not adversely affect the the former president's right of suffrage.

Umali added that the preamble of the pardon being questioned by the petitioners was, not an essential part of the pardon. Rather it was the dispositive portion which absolutely restored Estrada’s civil and political rights.

For his part, Chavez said the decision clearly indicated that the disqualification case had no basis, and, with the decision, there was no longer any legal barrier for Estrada to “100-percent run, and 100-percent be voted upon.”  

“The reasons of the Petitioners is too vague, highly speculative and uncertain. With this decision, there should be no more questions as to whether or not former President Estrada can run for mayor in Manila,” he said.

However, Estrada still has another disqualification case to deal with - the case filed before the Commission on Elections alleging Estrada violated the conditions of his pardon in October 2007.

Estrada earlier said that the petitioner in the Comelec case, lawyer Alicia Vidal, is represented by retired Sandiganbayan Justice Rodolfo Palattao – an alleged associate of his rival for the mayoralty post, incumbent Mayor Alfredo Lim.

Vidal had served as Lim’s lawyer in the election protest filed by former mayor Lito Atienza of Manila over the results of the 2010 mayoralty race. — DVM, GMA News

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