SC junks disqualification raps vs. ‘Erap’

By , on January 21, 2015


Joseph 'Erap' Ejercito Estrada is still the Mayor of Manila after the Supreme Court ruling. (Photo courtesy of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada Facebook page)
Joseph ‘Erap’ Ejercito Estrada is still the Mayor of Manila after the Supreme Court ruling. (Photo courtesy of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada Facebook page)

MANILA  — The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday dismissed the disqualification case against former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada.

In a press conference, SC Public Information Office (PIO) Chief and Spokesman Atty. Theodore O. Te, said that “the Court, voting 11-3 denied the reliefs sought and ordered the DISMISSAL of the petition filed by Atty. Alicia Risos-Vidal and the petition-in-intervention filed by former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim.”

The ponente or writer of the decision is Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro.

Concurring in the ruling are Associate Justices Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr., Arturo D. Brion, Diosdado M. Peralta, Lucas P. Bersamin, Mariano C. Del Castillo, Martin S. Villarama, Jr., Jose Portugal Perez, Jose Catral Mendoza, Bienvenido L. Reyes and Estelita M. Perlas-Bernabe.

Dissenting with the ruling are Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. Aranal Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio and Associate Justice Marvic F. Leonen.

Associate Justice Francis H. Jardeleza took no part due to his previous participation in the case as Solicitor General.

Te said that the main issue considered by the Court was the characterization of the pardon extended by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to respondent former President-current Mayor Joseph Estrada after the latter’s conviction for plunder.

The majority of the SC justices characterized the pardon extended by Mrs. Arroyo to Estrada as absolute, thereby restoring Estrada’s qualification to stand as candidate in the last Mayoralty elections.

Likewise, the SC said that Estrada’s acceptance of the absolute pardon removed the disqualifications arising under Section 40 of the Local Government Code (LGC) in relation to Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC).