Estrada ordered to answer disqualification plea

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Former President and now Mayor-elect Joseph Estrada. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered former president and now Manila mayor-elect Joseph Estrada to answer the petition of outgoing Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim seeking his disqualification.

Lim filed an intervention on the petition filed by Atty. Alicia Risos-Vidal that sought to stop the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from allowing Estrada to assume office as Mayor of Manila beginning noon of June 30.

Lim’s case has been consolidated with the petition filed by Vidal.

During the 2013 elections, Estrada won over Lim with 343,993 votes while Lim got 308,544 votes.

Vidal, in her petition, questioned the decision of the Comelec that dismissed with finality her disqualification complaint against Estrada. She said Estrada’s conviction for plunder had rendered him disqualified to run for public office.

She said that the executive pardon granted to Estrada by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo did not restore his right to seek or hold public office.

But Estrada, through his lawyers, argued that the case is already moot and academic since he has been proclaimed.

They said reversing the Comelec ruling would effectively disenfranchise the mandate given to him by some 300,000 voters in the city and effectively deprive their basic right to suffrage.

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