abs-cbnNEWS.com | 12/02/2009 6:16 PM
MANILA - A disqualification petition has been filed at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) against the election bid of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Lawyer Oliver Lozano on Wednesday asked the Comelec to disqualify Arroyo since the 1987 Constitution provides that "the president shall not be eligible for any re-election."
He said the word "any" refers to any elective post, and this includes Arroyo's bid to represent the 2nd district of Pampanga in the House of Representatives.
Lozano also filed an amended petition seeking to disqualify former President Joseph Estrada. His first petition was dismissed by the Comelec since Estrada was not yet officially a candidate when the petition was filed.
Lozano urged the Comelec to immediately disqualify Estrada since he expects that Estrada's supporters will not accept a belated decision disqualifying the former president as this would not give him time to appeal before the Supreme Court.
He said it may be even better to just let Estrada run and let the people decide whether they want him to become president again.
Due to the many interpretations about the Constitutional provision which says that the president is not eligible for any reelection, Lozano said it would be best to just let Estrada run and let the people settle the issue.
Atty. Ralph Calinisan, spokesperson of Estrada's party, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, agreed with Lozano that it would be better to let the people settle the issue, instead of leaving the matter to a few decision-makers.
According to Atty. Ferdinand Rafanan, head of the Comelec law department, the poll body did not accepted Lozano's amended petition since it may be dismissed for technical reasons.
Rafanan said Estrada's original petition seeking to disqualify Estrada was dismissed since it was filed even before Estrada filed his certificate of candidacy on November 30.
Once a petition has been dismissed, it can no longer be amended, he said. -- report from Sheryll Mundo, ABS-CBN News
as of 12/02/2009 6:20 PM