Tuesday, December 8, 2009

SC tells Erap oppositors: Go to Comelec

Original Story: http://www.malaya.com.ph/12092009/news8.html

THE Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the petition by Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution Inc. (VPCI), a group of lawyers and magistrates, to disqualify former President Joseph Estrada as a candidate for president in 2010 for lack of merit.

Court deputy spokesman Atty. Gleo SP Guerra said the petition should have first been lodged at the Commission on Elections, which has expertise and should have first jurisdiction to hear cases involving disqualification of candidates.

The group’s president Atty. Eligio Mallari asked the SC to order that Estrada’s certificate of candidacy be immediately expunged from the records.

Mallari noted that under Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution, the prohibition for any person who had been elected President of the Philippines to seek reelection is clear and without exceptions.

"Thus, it does not matter whether the one seeking for a reelection is the immediate outgoing elected President or an elected President who had served as such by virtue of previous elections. This provision admits no other qualification," he said.

The petition argued that even if Estrada had not been convicted and subsequently been pardoned by President Arroyo, he is still disqualified to run for reelection.

Petitioners claimed that the presidential pardon for Estrada may have restored his civil and political rights but he should not to be voted upon by virtue of his self-imposed condition under the same pardon.

The group was referring to the "Whereas" clauses in Estrada’s pardon which stated that he "has publicly committed to no longer seek any elective position or office." – Evangeline de Vera

Original Story: http://www.malaya.com.ph/12092009/news8.html

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