In a 21-page comment filed recently, Solicitor General Jose Calida sought dismissal for lack of merit of Pamatong’s petition last June that accused Duterte of usurping the powers of the chief executive due to his alleged invalid certificate of candidacy (COC) for the 2016 polls. ?Calida said Pamatong’s suit is a “nuisance petition” consisting of “false allegations.”?
Miguel De Guzman
SC asked to junk quo warranto case vs Duterte
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - September 4, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has been asked to junk the quo warranto case filed by suspended lawyer and former nuisance presidential candidate Elly Pamatong against President Duterte.

In a 21-page comment filed recently, Solicitor General Jose Calida sought dismissal for lack of merit of Pamatong’s petition last June that accused Duterte of usurping the powers of the chief executive due to his alleged invalid certificate of candidacy (COC) for the 2016 polls.

Calida said Pamatong’s suit is a “nuisance petition” consisting of “false allegations.”

Calida also asked the SC to sanction petitioner, who “deplorably trivialized the rules of procedure” and who “may be held liable for indirect contempt without prejudice to the corresponding administrative and criminal actions.”

He rebutted Pamatong’s claim that Duterte’s COC in the May 2016 presidential poll was invalid because his withdrawal of COC for mayor in Davao City and substitution for presidential bet of PDP-Laban were not allowed under the rules of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

“The Comelec resolution affirming the certificate of candidacy of President Duterte as valid and effective has attained finality and can no longer be assailed,” Calida argued in the comment.

“The position of the Comelec on the controversy involving the process taken by President Duterte in filing his COC is undoubtedly in favor to its validity and effectiveness. To allege that the process was taken by respondent President Duterte in filing his COC is unlawful is misleading and obviously without basis,” he added.

The solicitor general also stressed that the Comelec had the authority to make its own rules under Article IX-A and Article IX-C, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution.

“The COC of President Duterte was acknowledged and accepted by Comelec through its Resolution No. 10028. Although four petitions were filed challenging President Duterte’s qualifications, these cases were all dismissed by the Comelec First Division in its Resolution dated Feb. 3, 2016,” he recalled.

Calida pointed out that although the Comelec had not ruled with finality yet on the appeal of the First Division’s ruling when Duterte won the May 9, 2016 presidential race, “it does not impede the status of President Duterte as an official presidential candidate as there was no pronouncement of disqualification against him.” 

He added that Pamatong’s claim that the poll body has not ruled on questions on Duterte’s COC up to this date is false as the Comelec – sitting in full commission – already upheld the COC on May 31, 2016.

Calida further argued that Duterte’s election by an overwhelming margin over his opponents can no longer be disturbed.

“Settled is the rule that an election expresses the sovereign will of the people... In the case at bar, the Filipino people have spoken. In the 2016 national elections, President Duterte took a ‘landslide victory’ by way of 16,601,997 votes,” he told the Court.

Calida cited Pamatong’s lack of legal standing to file the quo warranto case because he has no right to the presidential office in question and also petitioner’s failure to comply with efficient use of paper rule of the SC which should have merited an outright dismissal.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS JOSE CALIDA QUO WARRANTO PETITION SUPREME COURT
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