SC junks Senate bet’s bid to DQ fellow candidates
The Supreme Court has dismissed a senatorial candidate’s suit to disallow incumbent elective officials running for senator from airing television ads before the official campaign period which started on Feb. 15.
In its decision, the high court’s 2nd Division, chaired by Justice Antonio Carpio, said the petitioner, lawyer Samson Alcantara of the Social Justice Society, failed to “sufficiently show that prohibition lies in the case.”
In a petition filed last December, Alcantara accused Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, and Reps. Juan Edgardo Angara, Joseph Victor Ejercito and Jack Ponce Enrile of using informercials to promote their candidacies and enhance their chances of winning well before the official campaign started.
The decision said, however, that the respondents’ actions in authorizing the broadcast of the infomercials and advertisements were not judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions which could be the subject of a writ of prohibition under the Rules of Court.
For a writ of prohibition to apply, “the impugned act must be that of a tribunal, corporation, board, officer, or person, whether exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions,” the justices said.
Another requirement for an application of the writ of prohibition is that “there should be no plain, speedy and adequate remedy of the questioned act.”
In the Alcantara suit, the high court said it does not believe that the airing of the infomercials “were performed without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion, as to fall within the Court’s expanded power of judicial review.”
Alcantara expressed disappointment with the ruling and said he would file a motion for reconsideration.