SC dismisses quo warranto petition vs Duterte
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed the quo warranto petition filed by suspended lawyer Elly Pamatong against President Rodrigo Duterte.
In dismissing the petition, the High Court said the one year prescription period for the filing of a quo warranto case has lapsed and that Pamatong has no legal standing to file the petition.
“Petitioner Pamatong’s cause of action already prescribed on June 30, 2017, one year from where Pamatong’s right to hold office, if at all, arose on June 30, 2016 when Duterte was inaugurated as the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines,” the SC said.
Section 11 of Rule 77 of the Rules of Court states that the action (filing of quo warranto petition) shall commence within one year of the person taking office.
Pamatong filed the petition against Duterte on June 6, 2018, or only a few days short of the two years since Duterte’s inauguration.
“Therefore, Petitioner’s cause of action, if any, had already lapsed and may no longer be revived,” the High Court added.
But the High Court waived the said prescription period when it ruled to grant the quo warranto petition of Solicitor General Jose Calida that led to the ouster of Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno last year, with the Court saying the prescription does not lie against the State, or the OSG in that case.
“However, this principle does not apply in cases where private individuals, in their own capacity, bring actions for quo warranto before the court to assert their right to the office allegedly
usurped,” the High Court said.
Hence, the SC also narrows the opportunity to file a quo warranto petition against Duterte since it said that private individuals may file if they have an uncontroverted claim, but that the one-year prescription will apply to them.
On Pamatong’s legal standing, the High Court said his certificate of candidacy (COC) for the 2016 presidential elections had been disapproved by the Commission on Elections.
“There is therefore no factual basis for petitioner’s assertion of a personal claim to the position of President. He was not even included in the lineup of candidates for the 2016 elections,” the SC added. /gsg
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.