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SC asks Lim, lawyer to respond to Comelec comment on Erap disqualification case

The Supreme Court has asked former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim and lawyer Alicia Risos-Vidal to respond to the Commission on Elections' (Comelec) comment in connection with the disqualification case against former President and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

"The Supreme Court required petitioner and petitioner-in-intervention to reply to the consolidated comment of the Office of the Solicitor General, within 10 days from notice," the SC Public Information Office said Tuesday.

The OSG is representing the Comelec in the case.

The Comelec and Estrada, who defeated Lim in the recent mayoral race in Manila, were named respondents in the disqualification case filed by Vidal.

Lim earlier asked and was allowed by the Supreme Court to intervene or participate in the case.

In his comment, Estrada said the accusations made by Vidal were "insufficient to disturb" the Comelec decision junking her petition to disqualify him from the May 2013 mayoral race.

Vidal said Estrada's conviction of plunder in 2007 made him ineligible to run for public office.
But Estrada, in his comment, said the absolute pardon granted to him in 2007 by then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo restored his "full civil and political rights including the right to seek public elective office."
Estrada's camp stressed that despite a plunder conviction being a ground for disqualification, the "absolute" pardon given to him "effectively obliterated all the penalties attached to the conviction and restored Estrada to his full and civil political rights."
Vidal, a known lawyer of Lim, filed the case with the Supreme Court after the Comelec dismissed with finality her disqualification complaint against the former president.
In her petition, Vidal stressed that Estrada's conviction for plunder and his being sentenced to life imprisonment had rendered him disqualified to run for public office. — Mark Merueñas/KBK, GMA News