Court clears way for Erap’s mayoral bid

Petition filed by 2 lawyers dismissed



The road to former President Joseph Estrada’s bid to run for Manila mayor has been cleared of an obstacle.

Last month, the Sandiganbayan unanimously dismissed the petition filed by two private lawyers from Manila that asked the court to clarify whether or not the ex-president’s decision to seek yet again public office was a violation of one of the conditions set in the presidential pardon granted to him.

In a one-page resolution, the antigraft court’s Special Division junked the “Motion for Determination and Interpretation of Judgment in the Plunder Case in Relation to the Conditional Pardon” filed on Nov. 16 last year by Fernando Perito and Nepthali Aliposa.

“…(F)or failure of the movants to set the above motion for hearing and furnish copies to the concerned parties in this case …, the same is considered a mere scrap of paper and ordered expunged from the records of this case,” the graft court declared.

Associate Justices Jose Hernandez, Napoleon Inoturan and Maria Cristina Cornejo signed the resolution.

Estrada, who ran for the presidency in 2010 but lost, has again filed a certificate of candidacy—this time for mayor of Manila.

The petitioners said that the former leader may have violated the conditions of the pardon granted by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo by seeking public office.

Estrada was convicted by the Sandiganbayan’s Special Division of plunder on Sept. 12, 2007. He was sentenced to life imprisonment but on Oct. 25 that same year, Arroyo granted him executive clemency.

Perito was among those who filed disbarment complaints in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines against Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for her alleged defiance of a Supreme Court order that stopped her office from imposing a travel ban against Arroyo, now a representative of Pampanga province.

In their motion seeking a clarification, the two lawyers quoted one of the paragraphs in the conditional pardon signed by Arroyo that read: “Whereas, Joseph Ejercito Estrada has publicly committed to no longer seek any elective position or office…. In view thereof, and pursuant to the authority conferred upon me by the Constitution, I hereby grant executive clemency to Joseph Ejercito Estrada, convicted by the Sandiganbayan of plunder and imposed a penalty of reclusion perpetua. He is hereby restored to his civil and political rights.”

According to the petitioners, it is clear that the restoration of Estrada’s rights does not include the right to run for public office.

“The electorate or the people are interested that the issue be resolved once and for all whether or not convicted former President Estrada can still seek [an] elective position,” they said in their motion.

In 2010, nobody questioned the conditions of his pardon when Estrada ran for president, the lawyers noted.

But they said his announcement that he would not seek elective or public office again was what must have prompted Arroyo to grant him executive clemency.

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  • Homer Guo

    aasa pa ba ke estrada na wala ring isang salita.

  • WoBushi

    Regardless what the court says, Manila can live without Erap. Being popular with the poor is one thing but to be an effective and energetic leader for a troubled and rundown city like Manila is another. Aside from being old, Estrada can no longer be trusted to do a better job for Manila.  Erap doesn’t have to push his luck after he blew his presidency. Besides, Manila is not only for the poor who blindly supports Estrada, but for all Manileno who dream of their old city be gentrified, peaceful and co-equal with the other great cities of the world.  Estrada obviously is not the man of the hour.  Responsible and sensible people of Manila must start the MOE movement. Move Over Erap! (MOE)

    • Noel

      Fred Lim is older than Erap.  Lim does not come clean too.  Let the two fight it out and see who wins.  The determining factor would be who between them is INC endorsing because both are very close to INC.

  • Noel

    The case should not have been filed in the first place.  It just made Erap more popular and his chance of winning in Manila greater.  The petitioners should have known that there was no hindrance in Erap’s running for presidency in 2010 because he was allowed to run.  What more for a simple Mayoral candidacy in Manila.

  • Fred

    Erap lost in the 2010 presidential election.
    Erap will lose in the 2013.

    • Noel

      Don’t be too sure.  Erap placed second in 2010 presidential election.  Pnoy took advantage of his parents’ popularity and people were still mourning on his mother Cory’s demise.  It was perfect timing for Pnoy.  INC even supported him instead of Erap which they always endorsed in the past.  This time, it’s Manila which is smaller and easier.  Even though Fred Lim is tough to beat, Erap would still end up the winner perhaps by a small margin. 

  • boybakal

    Erap vs Lim….Battle of the Oldies but Goodies.
    Up to the last breath, till death will do them apart.
    These people are born for public service…may the old man win.

  • Karabukov

    This president was not only ousted by people power for alleged corruption. He was actually convicted of plunder. He was pardoned by her successor that is now also under a black cloud of alleged corruption and plunder charges. The real question is not even whether he will violate the terms of his pardon by running for office, it is whether he was even qualified to run for any office after his conviction. He should not even have ran for president in the last election in the first place. In this country politics always trumps the legal system. Actually, the order is: Money > politics > law. And you still wonder why the Marcoses are back?

    • Noel

      Erap was a victim of a grand conspiracy.  Even his trusted men betrayed him.  The accusations against him particularly on jueteng continued during GMA’s term and even became stronger.  Until this day, jueteng has not been solved so why did they pick on Erap?  He was vindicated by the pardon and would all the more be vindicated if he wins in Manila.

  • richard ortega

    mga manileno sana matuto na kayo sa pag pili ng iboboto. yung hindi magnanakaw o palabigay ng pera pero magnanakaw naman. di kayo matututlungan ng perang ibabayad sa inyo tuwing election isipin ninyo ang pang mahabang panahon .

    • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

      tell them that in person. not all of them have internet. they can however see the cheap entertainment during campaign periods. 

  • blainz

    I cannot help but think that people got paid or intimidated into not following up on this issue. It’s up to Manileños now to see this convicted plunderer doesn’t get his hands on their coffers.

    • WeAry_Bat

       Verbal promises are not promises any more.

  • Garo Ungaro

    You can’t blame him?. He believed his clean. the court say so, Then, its up to the citizen of Manila?… Anyway, they will be the one to suffer the consequences in the future. POLITICS…at its best.

  • tata_boy

    Associate Justices Jose Hernandez, Napoleon Inoturan and Maria Cristina Cornejo ay pulos mga inutil, paano ito naupo sa kanilang puwesto? Bayan, ang mga ito ang dahilan kung bakit ganito ang kalagayan ng ating bansa.

  • PAZ

    Saan ka nakakita na convicted at life imprisonment ang parusa pero ang pardon e may kondisyon na di na pwedeng kumandidatong muli.Talagang iba pulitika sa Pilipinas Talagang totoo na kinasuhan si Estrada kahit walang mga ebidensya para maalis lang talaga sa pwesto. Kaya pala nag sorry Mrs. Aquino kay Erap at sinabing nagkamali lang sila ng pagpapatalsik. Nagamoy pawis ang mga Anakpawis sa kara rally kasama ni Cory noong pinatatalsik si Estrada yun pala ay nagkamali lang!

    • Loggnat

      I thought it was ex-president Gloria Arroyo that apologizes to Estrada…. Are your facts right? or was that a typo error? or maybe a ‘brain phart? .:). But then again I could be the one that is wrong…….

      • Magsasaka

         tama nga nagsori nga si cory sa isang tv interview at sinabi nya rin na nagkamali sya ng pagsupurta sa pagpapatalsik kay erapski

      • ApoNiLolo

        You question the person’s sources then retract your statement but not after throwing an innuendo. What that makes you?

      • Loggnat

        A human….. who knows that a human can make mistakes. I did not question the person’s source. I was noting that to my belief that it was ex-pres. Arroyo who apologized to ex-pres.Estrada nor did I retract that belief. I had some doubt and that I might be mistaken. Nobody is perfect…. I know I’m not. :)

      • ApoNiLolo

        To err is human… that’s given. But to ask the person “Are your facts right?” and then denying you didn’t question the person’s source is something you should ponder. I don’t believe either that PAZ’s comment deserves to be alluded as “maybe a brain phart?”.

        Nobody’s perfect… that’s right. But there are several ways to reply to a comment. One is called “proper forum manners”.

  • Darwin

    Bayaran ni Erap yung mga petitioner. Sarsuela lang lahat to get public sympathy and of course, election votes. Rigth at the start, the petition was crafted to fail.

  • Loggnat

    “…(F)or failure of the movants to set the above motion for hearing and furnish copies to the concerned parties in this case …, the same is considered a mere scrap of paper and ordered expunged from the records of this case,” the graft court declared. /// If I understood it, this means that the petitioners were not able to provide the court with all the information and documents required to advance the case/petition to the next level. Does this mean that the eligibility of Erap was not decided because the petition was not properly filed and was disallowed and removed from the records? Therefore, another petition can be filed to once and for all the question of his eligibility will be confirmed eligible or not eligible? Is there no law to penalize people who frivolously file petitions and lawsuits and then not follow up on it to the final decision? People who’s main purpose is to get their names in the Media and is not serious at all in their legal filings should be considered as frivolous case filers. This frivolous and useless cases clogs and costs the court valuable time and funds that could be utilized on serious cases. There should be a law that will penalize them.

  • Garo Ungaro

    When the courts decisions depends on the lifestyles of the judges…Then, Juan de la Cruz suffers..We can’t get out of the mud because of this court examples…Now, its up to the intelligent voters of the City of Manila. If he wins then its not his fault. Its Juan de la Cruz fault…Good Luck….

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