No SC ruling yet on Estrada disqualification case
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has not made any ruling on the pending petition for the disqualification as mayor of Manila of former President Joseph Estrada, the court’s spokesman said Thursday.
Lawyer Theodore Te said the Estrada disqualification has not even been calendared for deliberation by the justices.
“Rumors to the contrary are mere rumors,” Te said, adding that as chief of the Supreme Court’s Public Information Office, he would be the first to know of a decision on the case and would immediately relay the news to the media.
“I meet with justice [beat] reporters every week to inform them of developments in cases taken up by the court; any developments in the Estrada case and other similar high-profile cases, if there are any, would be subject of such a briefing. That there is no such briefing on the Estrada case means that there are no developments to be reported,” Te said in a text message to reporters.
“I brief reporters on various cases including those that are closely followed by the public. The Estrada case would certainly be one of those. The parties and the public may be assured that should a decision on this and other such cases be promulgated the PIO will announce them,” he added.
On Wednesday night, unconfirmed reports surfaced on social media that the justices, voting 9-3-2, had disqualified Estrada as mayor of Manila.
A lawyer, Risos Vidal, had earlier sought Estrada’s disqualification to run for mayor of Manila, saying the former president was ineligible to run for office because the pardon granted him after his plunder conviction did not restore his civil and political rights, such as the right to seek elective office.
When the Commission on Elections sided with Estrada, Vidal elevated the case to the Supreme Court.
Estrada’s predecessor, Alfredo Lim, who has the runner-up in the Manila mayoral race, asked for and was allowed by the high court to intervene or participate in the case. He also maintained that the pardon given to Estrada was conditional and not absolute, as Estrada had argued.
The case was deemed submitted for resolution last August after Vidal, Lim and the Comelec, represented by the Office of the Solicitor General, submitted their comments on the case.