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The Commission on Election has junked with finality the disqualification case filed against former President and Manila mayoralty candidate Joseph “Erap” Estrada.
In an en banc resolution dated April 23, 2013, the Comelec denied for lack of merit the motion for reconsideration filed by complainant lawyer Alicia Vidal.
It marked the third time a disqualification case filed against Estrada was junked.
In January 7, 2013, the Sandiganbayan special division scrapped due to technicalities a motion questioning the candidacy of Estrada as Manila mayor. The next month, the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 20 dismissed a case also seeking to disqualify Estrada from running as mayor of Manila.
Estrada went to the Comelec Thursday to personally get a copy of the resolution. He was accompanied by his running mate, re-electionist Vice Mayor Isko Moreno. Estrada and Moreno went to the offices of Commissioners Elias Yusoph of the first division and Lucenito Tagle of the second division to thank them for the decision.
The poll body said it found no congent reason to depart from the April 1 resolution of the Second Division dismissing the disqualification case against Estrada as Vidal’s motion contained rehashed issues and arguments.
“Furthermore, petitioner’s motion for reconsideration failed to present new or substantial arguments which have not been presented in her prior submissions,” the en banc said.
Vidal filed the disqualification case earlier this year citing the condition of the pardon granted to Estrada by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo after the Sandiganbayan convicted him of plunder in 2007.
The Second Division, in the six-page resolution dated April 1, 2013, cited the decision issued by the poll body in 2010 dismissing the petitions filed to disqualify Estrada from joining the 2010 presidential race.
“Petitioner failed to present cogent proof sufficient to reverse the standing pronouncement of this Commission declaring categorically that respondent’s right to seek public office has been effectively restored by the pardon vested upon him by former President Gloria M. Arroyo,” it stated.
“Since this Commission has already spoken, it will no longer engage in disquisitions of a settled matter lest indulged in wastage of government resources,” it added.
Of the five commissioners, Commissioner Robert Lim inhibited from the case as he is a former private prosecutor in the plunder case filed against Estrada. — RSJ, GMA News