Petisyon para sa disqualification ni Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, hindi kinatigan ng Korte Suprema

admin   •   January 21, 2015   •   3168

FILE PHOTO: Manila Mayor and former President Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines — Sa botong 11-3, idinismiss ng Korte Suprema ang dalawang petisyong humihiling na madiskwalipika si dating presidente Joseph “Erap” Estrada bilang mayor ng Maynila.

Pinagtibay rin ng SC ang naunang desisyon ng Commission on Elections o COMELEC na payagang kumandidato si Estrada bilang alkalde ng lungsod ng Maynila noong May 2013 elections.

Hindi kinatigan ng Supreme Court en banc ang consolidated petitions nina dating Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim at abogado nitong si Atty. Alicia Risos-Vidal.

Kabilang sa tatlong mahistrado na bumoto sa disqualification ni Estrada ay sina Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio at Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.

Una nang nag-inhibit sa kaso si Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza.

“Main issue is the characterization of pardon extended by former PGMA to Erap after the latter’s conviction for plunder. Majority characterized the pardon as an absolute pardon, thereby restoring Erap’s qualifications to stand as candidate for mayor. Likewise, the majority considered Erap’s acceptance of the acts of pardon as having removed the disqualification,” pahayag ni Atty. Te.

Giit ng petitioners, hindi na maaaring tumakbo pa sa anumang posisyon sa pamahalaan si Estrada dahil na-convict ito sa kasong plunder noong 2007.

Hindi rin aniya mabubura ng executive pardon na ibinigay ni dating pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo sa alkalde para siya madiskuwalipika bilang mayor ng Maynila.

Sagot naman ng kampo ni Estrada, absolute ang naturang executive pardon at ito ang nagpabalik sa kanyang civil at political rights.

Katulad ng alkalde, ikinatuwa rin ng mga anak ng dating pangulo ang pagkaka-dismiss sa disqualification case ng kanilang ama.

Nagdiwang naman ang staff ni Estrada sa Manila City Hall matapos mabalitaan ang desisyon ng Kataas-taasang Hukuman.

“Hindi nagkamali ng pasya yung mga judges na dapat naman talagang ipagpatuloy ni mayor yung paglilingkod nya sa atin,” saad ni Cristine Gumaru, isa sa mga empleyado ng Manila City Hall.

Ayon naman kay Gerald Pangilinan, “Syempre, masaya po kami dahil nanalo yung bosing naming Mayor Erap natin.”

“Noon pa man siya na talaga ang binoto ng mga tao eh sa eleksyon eh kitang kita naman sa mga tao,” pahayag naman ni June Monesit, isa rin sa mga empleyado sa Manila City Hall.

Iginagalang naman ng Malakanyang ang naging desisyon ng Korte Suprema.

“The Supreme Court has spoken on the disqualification case against Mayor Joseph Estrada, let us note that this is a local government issue so we do not have comment on the matter. Now, I understand that most you are very curious with respect to the impact this decision may have as far as that we will leave it to the political analysts,” pahayag ni Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

Sa nakalipas na 2013 midterm elections, nanalo si Estrada kontra kay Lim sa botong 343,993 – 308,544.

Bago pa ang desisyon ng SC ngayong araw, una na ring idinismiss ng Manila Regional Trial Court, Sandiganbayan at COMELEC ang tatlong disqualification cases na inihain nina Lim at Vidal laban sa dating pangulo.

Samantala, sinabi ni Supreme Court Public Information Chief Atty. Theodore Te na maaari pa ring maghain ng motion for reconsideration ang mga petitioner sa naging desisyon ng Kataas-taasang Hukuman. (Bianca Dava / Ruth Navales, UNTV News)

Comelec looks into longer voting hours for 2022 election

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 20, 2021

Manila, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday (January 20) said it is looking into having longer voting hours for the 2022 elections.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, during a Senate hearing, said the agency is mulling over possible election adjustments amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the options include extending the election up to three days while the other option is to have longer voting hours.

Jimenez raised concerns over the having the election last for two to three days.

“Medyo wary kami sa two to three days of election (We are a bit wary of extending the election for two to three days ). Comelec is actually tending towards longer elections hours. Nakikita po natin sa ibang bansa, especially iyong malalaking elections (We saw in other countries, especially those with big elections), they do have elections that last for up to 12 hours,” he said.

“As far as the two to three days of elections, there’s been a lot of concern about that, there’s a lot of worry of what happens at night, I suppose,” he added.

Comelec is also planning to increase polling places to limit the number of voters per precinct and lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission. However, Comelec said they would need bigger venues and additional personnel to ensure health protocols are followed.

Early voting for the vulnerable sectors, which include senior citizens, is also being looked into by Comelec.

Jimenez added they are also looking into bringing ballots to quarantine centers for individuals exhibiting symptoms or are positive for COVID-19 virus.

“There will be more people who will be in quarantine, who will be allowed to vote otherwise. Kaso hindi naman natin sila pwedeng tanggalan ng right to vote just because may sakit sila, (We cannot deprive them of their right to vote just because they are sick),” he said.

Meanwhile, the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) said there should also be a risk assessment especially for voters who are returning to their respective provinces.

“The requirements of the face masks, face shields can be property requirements that could disenfranchise some vulnerable groups of voters, even the test that are required before you enter into the provinces where you should be voting,” he said. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Voter registration to resume on January 4, 2021 – COMELEC

Robie de Guzman   •   December 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The voter registration will resume on January 4, 2021, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) announced on Wednesday.

“If you missed the last day of #VoterReg2020, don’t despair just yet. #VoterRegistration will resume January 4, 2021. #MakeAPlanToRegister then. #MagparehistroKa!” Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said in a tweet.

In an earlier advisory, COMELEC said the last day of voter registration for this year was on December 29, 2020.

The voter registration was also closed during the special non-working days and regular holidays for the month of December.

Voter registration is conducted from Mondays to Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with Friday as the designated disinfection day unless the local government unit prescribes a different disinfection day, the advisory read.

The poll body reminded the public that anti-COVID-19 protocols are being strictly imposed in all COMELEC offices.

Duterte admin not involved in impeach rap vs Leonen – Roque

Robie de Guzman   •   December 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday distanced itself from an impeachment complaint filed against Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen before the House of Representatives.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte is not involved in the move and did not endorse the complaint.

“Wala pong kinalaman diyan. We don’t even know who the proponents are,” Roque said in a televised press briefing.

The impeachment rap against Leonen was lodged by one Edwin Cordevilla of a group called the Filipino League of Advocates for Good Government.

Cordevilla accused Leonen of committing “culpable violation of the constitution and betrayal of public trust,” and slow case disposition.

He also accused Leonen of failing to file his statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) during his tenure at the University of the Philippines, as required by law.

Cordevilla filed the complaint with the assistance and representation of lawyer Larry Gadon. It was endorsed by Ilocos Norte Representative Angelo Marcor Barba, cousin of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Leonen said he has yet to receive a copy of the complaint but he expressed confidence that House lawmakers will “do the right thing” and will not entertain “false issues raised by some clearly personal or vindictive reasons.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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