Supreme Court junks Erap disqualification case
Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - January 21, 2015 - 12:38pm

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) —  The Supreme Court en banc on Wednesday junked petitions questioning the constitutional basis of Manila Mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada's candidacy in the 2013 local polls.

Voting 11-3, the high court dismissed the disqualification cases filed by lawyer Alicia-Risos Vidal and former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, questioning the validity of Estrada's political office.

The ruling, penned by Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, upholds the Commission on Elections decision to dismiss Vidal's case against Estrada.

The court also recognized that Estrada was pardoned by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo through an absolute clemency in 2007.

The petitions argued that Estrada should not have been allowed by the Commission on Elections to seek another political seat after having been convicted for plunder.

Besides De Castro, magistrates Presbitero Velasco Jr., Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Mendoza, Jose Perez, Bienvenido Reyes and Estela Perlas-Bernabe voted to dismiss Vidal's case.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, meanwhile, dissented from the majority's opinion.

Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te said in a televised briefing that petitioners Vidal and Lim can still file a petition against the court's decision.

"The petitioner here, Attorney Vidal, and the intervenor, Attorney Lim, if they wish they have recourse to motion for reconsideration," Te said.

ALICIA-RISOS VIDAL ARTURO BRION ASSOCIATE JUSTICE TERESITA LEONARDO ATTORNEY LIM ATTORNEY VIDAL BESIDES DE CASTRO BIENVENIDO REYES AND ESTELA PERLAS-BERNABE CHIEF JUSTICE MARIA LOURDES SERENO SUPREME COURT THEODORE TE
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