Erap faces ouster as Manila mayor

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SUPREME Court (SC) Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, the magistrate who was designated to write the decision on the disqualification case filed against Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada, believes that the former president should be ousted from his post.

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Leonen is convinced Estrada’s conviction for plunder made him ineligible to run for public office, according to a highly reliable source at the High Court.

In his draft ponencia, Leonen, the most junior member of the tribunal, maintained that even if Estrada was granted pardon by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he was barred from running for an elective post because the executive clemency that he received was not absolute.

Leonen, a constitutional law expert, had submitted his draft decision to the court en banc but some justices asked for more time to study the case. The tribunal will deliberate on the case on January 20, 2015.

The disqualification case against Estrada was filed by Alicia Risos-Vidal, the lawyer of former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, who also intervened in the case.

The Manila Times source said Leonen based his decision on his findings that the pardon granted by Arroyo to Estrada was conditional, not absolute.

The magistrate relied on the October 25, 2007 Executive Clemency that Estrada accepted and that stated that the former president “publicly committed to no longer seek any elective position or office.”

The source said the executive clemency granted by Arroyo only obliterated Estrada’s principal penalty and did not restore the former leader’s “political rights” thus he is barred from running for any public position.

Leonen cited the landmark case of Monsanto vs. Factoran, which also dealt with the pardon given to a convicted public official.

The provisions of Article 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal Code on pardon being bestowed by a sitting President to a convicted criminal was also discussed in Leonen’s draft ponencia.

Article 36 provides,“A pardon shall not work the restoration of the right to hold public office, or the right of suffrage, unless such rights be expressly restored by the terms of the pardon.”

Article 41 mandates that the penalties of reclusion perpetua and reclusion temporal “shall carry with them that of civil interdiction for life or during the period of the sentence as the case may be, and that of perpetual absolute disqualification which the offender shall suffer even though pardoned as to the principal penalty, unless the same shall have been expressly remitted in the pardon.”

The crime of plunder is punishable by reclusion perpetua.

In his draft decision, Leonen also discussed who should replace Estrada in case the SC ruled to oust him from office.

The magistrate opined that if the disqualification was the result of election offenses such as ballot switching, ballot snatching, vote buying and acts of terrorism, the successor shall be the vice mayor based on the law on succession under Section 44 of the Local Government Code.

If, however, the cause of the disqualification is based on the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy on the basis of eligibility of a candidate, the successor shall be the candidate who placed second during the elections in 2013.

The latest jurisprudence on such a case was in the Aratea vs Comelec and Antipolo where the second placer, Estela Deloso-Antipolo, was allowed by the SC to sit as mayor of San Antonio town in Zambales, not Vice Mayor Efren Aratea, because of the disqualification of Romeo Lonzanida, a convicted criminal.

Estrada was ousted from the presidency in 2001 over massive allegations of corruption. He was convicted for plunder by the Sandiganbayan Special Division on September 12, 2007. He ran for President during the May 2010 polls and placed second to then-senator Benigno Aquino 3rd.

Although a disqualification complaint was filed against Estrada by lawyer Evilio Pormento and Mary Lou Estrada, the High Court did not rule on the case because then-Chief Justice Renato Corona, the ponente of the case, said the complaint became moot and academic because of Estrada’s electoral defeat.

Estrada had asked the SC to dismiss the disqualification case, claiming that the pardon bestowed on him by Arroyo restored his civil and political rights.

The former President also stated that the High Court must affirm findings of the Commission on Elections on April 1, 2013 and April 23, 2013 that he is eligible and qualified to run as a mayor of Manila.

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64 Comments

  1. gagaling nila hahaha bayad utang na loob hahaha saying nga naman boto sa maynila . sisirain ulit nila mga magandang naumpisahan ni erap .. lalo ngayon bayad na mga dinispalko ng pinalitan niya …

    • An allegations and accusations against the defeated opponent must be supported by pieces of evidence otherwise it is considered as hearsay no more no less,,,,” allegation not substantiated by evidence are hearsay” said accusations against the petitioner questioning the eligibility and qualification of the incumbent cannot persuade nor affect the decision of the supreme court and.),,, such are considered as hearsay simply bcoz it is a mere speculation with out anything to establish the accusationssss.

  2. Only in the Philippines you can find greedy lawyers manipulating the laws of the country to get the corrupt politicians get away with their corruption like the Binays (the worst), Estradas, Enrile, Revilla. Pray to save the Philippines from tese corrupt politicians.

    • This is not a matter of greedy lawyers manipulating the laws of the country. It was because of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Corona’s laziness or bias in refusing to rule on the issue whether Erap could still run as President. The fact that he lost the elections does not make the issue moot and academic because the decision will be relevant for future cases. If the US Supreme Court ruled on the issue, it would have promulgated a complete decision including whether Erap or any future candidates for that matter that are convicted by the anti-graft court would be able to hold public office after his or her conviction.

  3. westphilippines on

    Laws are created by man! And the sovereign of the State is with the Supreme Court. All legal issues and interpretation of the law of our country will be resolved by the High Court. Let us respect its ruling even if our thinking is otherwise!

    • The sovereign of the state/nation is not the Supreme Court but the Filipino people as stated in the Preamble of the Constitution. The SC is the final arbiter/interpreter of the laws of the land.

  4. Leonardo M. Alvarado on

    HINDI PULIDO ang dahilan kung MAGRI-REBOLUSYON ang mga Pilipino dahil lang kay ERAP na isang popular na AKTOR.
    .
    Sa kabilang dako kung MARAMI nang PILIPINO ang MAHIRAP at NAGUGUTOM sa kasalukuyan at ang malaking bahagi ng yaman ng bansa ay TINATAMASA at SINASAMANTALA, at ang KONTROL NG GOBYERNO ay hawak lang ng KAUNTING BILANG ng mga MAYAYAMAN at PULITIKO na karamihan ay mga TIWALI at MANDARAMBONG (!), may KARAPATAN ANG BUONG PILIPINAS, ayon sa ating KONSTITUSYON, na MAG-ALSA at MAG-REBULOSYON for REDRESS.

  5. si erap ay ginawa niyang casino ang malacanang, jueting, etc.
    pardon by GMA na nanalo sa daya dinaya niya si Fernando poe Jr. kaya ang pagkapresidente niya ay illegal din kaya ang pardon ay illigitimate.

    eh kaso BOBOTANTE KAYONG pinoys … hahahahmore fun in the phils.

    JUstice Marvic Leonen is just like Justice Sereno who dclare DAP unconstitutional.
    Bakit ????? niyo si Leonen’s declaration on Erap disqualification.

    at saka bakit convicted eh puede pang magkandidato. kung gayon ang comelec ang investigahin….. hahahahah more fun in phils. politics……

  6. I tend to agree with Leonen – we should follow the law. Sorry in the first place that Erap was pardoned. But this is water under the bridge. Let us right the wrong done.

  7. ipagdasal natin mga kababayan na sana papalit kay Ninoy ay mas matino pa sa kanya at ipatupad ang parusang Death Penalty para lahat magkaroon ng takot. sa Saudi pag nagnakaw ka putol ang daliri mo at kung sobra na putol ang neck mo. ang mag ama na yan na Estrada ay dapat nasa kulungan na pero ano !! ang nangyari. P..tang na nila kung mamudmod ng pera akala mo kanila yun pala nlnakaw sa kaban ng bayan. may kasabihan nga dito sa america..kung gusto mong instant yaman go to Philippines and win as a politician. Guaranted!!!

    • alberto urbiztondo on

      Tama ka dyan, doon sa americka kapad napatunayan ka na nangnakaw sa kaban ng bayan, ipapasok ka sa kulongan. Dito sa Pilipinas kapag ikaw ay kawatan sa pira nang bayan, pupunta ka nang Amerika.

    • Tama ka vino…HISTORY WILL KEEP REPEATING ITSELF…. They said that they will study the case and we all know that Erap will finish his term and re-run and they will still be studying the case. Example is the Ampatuan case… ilangtaon na???????

  8. This will be the tipping point. This admin will regret this travesty for it will create a tsunami that they cannot control. After all Erap was voted via manual voting by more than 10 million Filipinos. Abangan ! Leonen nagpapapogi (lalake ka ba o babae ?) ka lang papahamak mo ang bansa. Pero on the other hand buti na rin !

  9. How about Trillanes case? He was elected as senator while in jail and became one of the biggest PDAF spender? And until now remains a senator .

  10. Leonen should first state his or her sex before assuming the role of ponencia. Susunugin kayo ng mga taga Maynila!

  11. Marcos was very right when he said that the problem of the Philippines are LAWYERS, and they should be thrown to the seas. And we have so many courts with dumb people, lawyers at that who have each his/her opinion. Thats the problem of having young people being appointed to the SC. Young is his/her mind also.

    MARCOS WAS RIGHT, AGENCIES RUNNED BY LAWYERS ARE ALL FAILURES!!!

    • and Marcos is what, a doctor? haha

      All Lawyers are all Failures
      But Marcos is also a Lawyer
      Therefore Marcos is Also a Failure

    • Dante Y. Rivera on

      I am just wondering why are you singling lawyers? are you bitter?

      you should be shocked if a non-lawyer be appointed to the SC as justice. just asking. and you should also be shocked if a non-lawyer be appointed as a judge.

      good day.

    • including supreme court and all other courts of justice??? hahaha??? so you mean, PNoy;s complain with supreme is justiable???

  12. Wala na talaga tayong kaayusan at mga institusyong mapagkakatiwalaan sa ating gobyerno na pinatatakbo lamang ng ating mga bobong kaklase at pulitikang pamilyang dynasty. It is about time na tayo lahat na mga pilipino na me natitira pang katinuan sa ting mga ulo at konsensya ay magtulong tulong at magsama-sama sa isang malakang kilusan. We are inviting you to be ONE of us… You are the solusyon ..We are the change that we dream….Join…. oneforall.org.ph

  13. nur muammar omar on

    bakit yung mga convicted na prisoner sa bilibid pinapayagang bumoto kahit wala pang presidential pardon? tanong ko lang po?

  14. It is very clear in the pardon of GMA that Erap political rights were restored. Leonen must have read only the first portion of the pardon. Erap was allowed to run in 2010 and 2013.

    • Luis G. Santarin on

      I strongly suggest that the full text of Mayor Erap’s pardon be made public. If there is any provision in the pardon that validly allows him to run for Mayor, then it was either overlooked or omitted in the drafting of the decision, thus he is truly qualified to hold the position of Mayor of Manila, and the Manila Times article on the draft decision should never had been published in the first place.

  15. So this is only just being sorted out now, didnt anyone think to check this out when estrada put his name forward as a candidate for mayor. It seems again incompetence at the highest level. What is wrong with this country why cant it seem to do anything right. Is it only me thinking this or do others think this also. Officials whose job it is to know who ie eligible to run should be held accountable. Was someone paid off, i dont know but someone should take the can for this but probably it will be seen as no ones fault as usual.

    • At the start COMELEC had decided already and not prolong the problem.
      ERAP should not have spent so much resources just to get elected, thereafter disqualfied for reason of interpretations of pardon granted to him.
      We have lots of talented people but their minds are not properly utilized,is it the COLOR of MONEY or what…….

  16. This is obviously political harassment Why in a hell in the first place Erap was allowed by COMELEC to run as a mayor of Manila and then suddenly he will be disqualified after winning when his term is almost over.
    Is this existing Philippine law defect or existing government officials way of destroying Erap credibility… since looking Binay will be in trouble of winning in 2016 due to his own personal problem and maybe Erap will be the next winnable candidate against LP bet.

    • john c. jacinto on

      Erap was allowed by COMELEC to run in 2010 and 2013, that’s true. But the Supreme Court is superior than the COMELEC in matters of law. Where the issue is on constitutional issues as in this case, the SC’s pronouncement will hold more water than that of the poll body.

  17. You have to publish this whether it is in tagalog or in english dahil ito ang nararamdaman ng tao na gustong nyang sabihin. Sa totoo lang po wala ng ibang matinong presidente maliban kay Ferdinand Marcos noon, subalit sya ay patay na kaya ang pangalawang magandang maging pangulo ng pilipinas ay walang iba kundi si Pangulong Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estada. Kung ako lang ang tatanungin gusto ko talaga may death penalty. kahit sa mata ng Diyos ay masama ito, pero ito ang nararapat sa ating lipunan dahil sa talamak na ang mga droga at criminal sa ating bansa. Marami din ang mapanuring tao sa lipunan wala naman naitulong kundi ang magreklamo. wala ng ginawa puro reklamo, kung gusto nyo ng pagbabago simulan nyo sa sarili nyo sasabihin puro basura e tingnan nyo nga ultimo balat ng candy hindi maibulsa kundi itinatapon pa sa kalsada. Ang ihian pang lalaki may butas na nga hindi pa mai shoot kaya ang panghi. Maliit na problema lang ito na kaya ng bawat isang tao hindi pa natin magawa. Wala tayong tinitingnan kundi ang mali ng iba tao. tingnan muna natin ang mali natin bago ang sarili ng iba. Ano ngayon kung may kaso maayos naman ang pamamalakad nya? Kung sa Diyos nga kahit may kasalanan ka, magsisi ka lang patatawarin pa, ang tao kaiba, kaya kayong mga ganyan sa langit kaya meron kayong puwang?. Please lang ang tingnan nyo kung ano ang nagagawa sa ating bansa. Maglalagay kayo ng Mayor sa manila pero lintik naman ang iniwanang utang, alin ang gugustuhin nyo? yung taong may kaso na maayos ang trabaho? o yung taong walang kaso pero madaming utang sa tao at gobyerno? Sa gobyerno natin mga senador, corte, ombudsman, civil service at iba pa lalo na kay Pinoy, pwede po ba asikasuhin nyo na lang ang mga tao natin na malilit, kasi pare pareho naman kayo mga corrupt nagsisilipan pa kayo. Tirahan kayo ng tirahan e kung tinutuon nyo ba trabaho nyo kung paano mabibihyan ng hanapbuhay mga kababayan natin kesa nagsisilipan kayo. Basta ako Erap pa rin kahit anong pang sabihin nyo.

    • Hindi ba’t ang pinalitan ni Mayor Esrada na si Former Mayor Lim, nuong NBI director pa siya, ay nag-imbestiga sa PCSO tungkol sa anomalya sa sweepstakes. At habang ini-imbestigahan niya ang PCSO bigla na lamang siyang tumama ng first prize sa sweepstakes sa halagang P5 million at ipinakita niya sa dyaryo ang isang booklet na sweepstake tickets na ibig palabasin ay marami siyang biniling ticket kaya siya tumama. Pagkatapos niyang tumama ng P5 milyon, bigla namang natapos ang imbestigasyon. Paano kaya nangyari?

    • john c. jacinto on

      Paano maging matinong pangulo si Marcos ay sandamukal na bilyones in dollars and ninakaw sa kaban ng bayan? libo-libong mamamayan ang pinatay, tinortyur, at kinulong noong Martial Law, at naging diktador nang walang anumang pananagutan?

      Matino ba yun–haller?!!

    • Eh, kung may death penalty noon, di ba patay na sana ang idolo nyong mandarambong na si Erap? Siguro nakinabang po kayo sa ninakaw ng idolo nyo. Kaya bulok pa rin po ang pulitika sa bayan dahil sa mga katulad nyo po.

    • I absolutely concur with your statement which is based on common sense. Problema lang at walang may talino, may common sense, at may tapang na tao sa gobyerno para tungunan ang problemang ito….main reason why the country is all screwed up….BIG TIME!

  18. Incredible how stupid on

    How stupid! ???
    Only in the Philippines you allow to run in national elections while knowing there is a huge concern. Why Comelec did not ban the guy before? More fun and more stupid in the Philippines!

  19. Anyone found guilty of plunder should stay in jail. Allowing Joseph Estrada to hold office is a mockery of our laws and makes the Philippines the laughingstock of the world. Estrada should be kicked out as Mayor of Manila.

    • Is it not our laws has long been mocked by those who have not and those who think that they have power and corrupt the same power then face the to pray for Gods’ grace and continue with their own interpretation of God that is good to their own interest and prayers? When things is no longer on the ordinary course of action and has fallen to “out of the Ordinary” then it has become beyond our wills thus, KARMA KARMA lang ang darating na mensahe ng Diyos sa mga nagmistulang namumuno at nagsasabi makapangyarihan sa ating bayan magmistulang relihiyoso pa man ang mga pananamit nila… pero singaw ang ispiritual nila… Sa panahon na eto magtanong ka kung tulog nga ba ang Diyos o maiksi ang kanyang mga kamay upang wag iabot ang PAG-IBIG KAPAYAPAAN AT PAG_ASA pero walang snabi na di ka magtatamo ng kaparusahan…

  20. That makes sense…. that President Arroyo would insist for Erap to make a written promise to disavow any attempt for public office.

    So would PresiDent Noynoy provide a pardon to BiseBinay on Binay’s written promise to never run for any Pilipinas public office?

  21. I can see the dirty hands of political maneuverings is behind the proposed ouster of Erap. Hoy, tama na ang pamolitika. Hindi na aasenso and ating bayan kung ang laman nang utak ninyo puro politika There are innumerable legal remedies and strategies in our jurisprudence where the unscrupulous can always take refuge and politically maim an opponent. This is a lot of B………SHT/

    • I can see the dirty hands of political maneuverings is behind the proposed ouster of Erap.

      Ganda na sana ng simula… kaya lang nagmumura na… dapat nagbigay ka ng hints or obsevations mo kaya mo nasabi ang nasa taas… Mga katulad mo ang nagpapahirap sa Pinas dahil sa bulag na pagsamba sa mga pinakikinabangan ninyo…

      Tama si Jane Aguilar sa taas na simulan natin sa sarili natin ang pagbabago… magsikap tayo at magtrabaho…

  22. KUNG MERON LANG SANANG BATAS NA ” NABABAWAL SA MULING PAGTAKBO NG ISANG HALAL NA OPISYAL SA DATI O SA MAS MABABABANG POSITION NA KANYAN NG TINANGANAN ( MAGPAKAILAN MAN O FOREVER ) MATAPOS ANG KANYANG TERM OF OFFICE ” AY HINDI NA SANA NANGYARI ITO PROBLEMA KAY ERAP. ITONG BATAS DIN NITO, KUNG MERON, AY SYANG MAGPAPATUPAD AUTOMATIKO NG 1987 CORY CONSTITUTION NA NAGBABAWAL SA FAMILY POLITICAL DYNASTIES NA SALOT NG BAYAN, DI BA BAYAN?

    • lahat ng batas lalo na sa Pilipinas maraming butas! kung hindi kaya sa ligal, kakayahin sa pera! maski na si Jesus Christ, lolokohin sa Pilipinas, Hay naku! wala na talagang pagasa, kaya ang mga Pinoy tiumatakbo na, kahit saan pupunta, maski sa impiyerno para lang lumayas na!

  23. Estrada should be removed from his position as Mayor of Manila. He has a plunder conviction and was only pardon by Gloria M. Arroyo. I don’t know why the voters of Manila elected him as Mayor. It is a bad precedent that a person even with pardoned conviction can run again in any government office. It makes the government a puppet and not a real government. A laughing clown government. Like a children government.
    Not real. That’s what foreign government will think about the Philippine government.

  24. The wheels of justice, slow as they may seem, have started to grind against Mayor Estrada. Hopefully, it will not get derailed or pushed into the back burner and instead gain momentum so as to bring to an end this man’s unbelievable and insatiable greed.

  25. The judge is totally right. No person should be able to run for public office with a criminal record because the public trust is broken. In the U.S. & U.K.,no person is allowed to run for public office with a criminal record.

  26. If this article is accurate, it is high time that Erap will go down to earth. He has been on the clouds basing only in his popularity as a C-grade actor, and enjoying the perks of a politician because of popularity not because anything else. Erap should accept the decision with righteousness, not hatred or vengeance and not follow PNoys way of vindictiveness.

  27. A precedence has been established and it allowed ex-Pres. Joseph Ejercito to run for President of the Philppines in 2010 by the court after ruler Gloria Arroyo granted him full amnesty and freedom to live a normal life. It restored all his rights without restriction. Comelec permitted him to run for Mayor of Manila and he had complied with all the requirements demanded for the office. To boot him out Mayor of Manila by the Supreme Court at this time is a blunt violation contrary to the rule of law that afforded him re-instate his political freedom. Citing the case in San Antonio, Zambales cannot be applied to ex-President Ejercito because his rights has been restored and deprivation is non-existent. What has been done, cannot be undone especially for the sake of political persecution.

  28. mauricio palao on

    Nothing really happens in isolation. What one does or does not do affects someone, some time. What were ex-Chief Justice Corona and ex-President Macapagal-Arroyo thinking? Corona, in dismissing a disqualification suit against Estrada for being moot and academic, in light of his loss in his bid for the Presidency; and, Macapagal-Arroyo in pardoning him for some amorphous reason earlier on, have inflicted on Manila and the country real harm. Both Corona and Macapagal-Arroyo…not just for their own similar cases of plunder…but for their recklessness and utter lack of foresight as well, deserve to be in the same shady league as Erap Estrada.

  29. P. Akialamiro@yahoo.com on

    It’s about time, the Philippine Supreme is issuing a decisive legal conclusion on this on-going question.

  30. Gago talaga ang hustisya sa lupa!!kung di ba naman mga baliw ang mga ito,!dapat noon pa bago palang kumandidato ang tao pinigil na nila! Ang taong bayan ay. maykapangyarihan kung sino ang gusto nila! Anong hustisya ang ibibigay mo sa taong nagpagod at naghirap para makamit niya ang hinahangad niya!
    Sasabihin pagkatapos ng lahat na hindi siya ang nanalo!
    Bugok ba talaga ang hustisya sa atin!
    Dapat ikulong ang comelec official na gumagawa ng batas sa election,dahil walang silbi, hindi alam ang mabuti at mali. Pati na itong supreme court!maatim ba ng matinong judge na mamuno ang taong natalo o hindi ibinoto?hustisya ba tawag dito!o may sinisunod lang na tao dahil sa utang na loob!

  31. if all the corrupt government elected officials, politicians and government employees can be placed in a boat which will then be sunk in the sea the highly corrupting and corrupted philippine electorate is still in place to bring back the country back to where this statement started.

  32. How long does the Philippine legal system need before it gets itself into gear? This ruling should have been there when he tried to run for office again, not years later! How anyone can even contemplate someone who has done something illegal running for public office again is beyond most people (in other countries) You have Imelda and you have Estrada. Unfortunately both make the Philippines look hamstrung and silly to those on the outside. It show the legal system does not work, it is not quick or efficient and as you can see with this the ruling will come when he can retire probably! All in all, a very bad advertisment for the Philippines. I wish it could do better.

  33. Roldan Guerrero on

    Justice Leonen is an appointee of a president who institutionalized “PATRONAGE POLITICS” Political system that goes as far as competence is sacrifized in exchange of appointing KKKs who are not qualified to assume key positions but rather take the post as a benefit and privillage to close friends whether deserving or not. The Supreme Court in its heyday used to consist of legal luminaries, each one having exemplary contributions in the pursuit of delivering equality in justice for all. What the hell can Leonen and Sereno, both appointees of Aquino, could be proud of? They are both not qualified of being members of the highest court of the land. It would be hurting but they are as incompetent of thegarbage president who appointed them. Leonen must be playing a very dangerous game in submitting to the will of Aquino, as I believe his decission is based on Aquino`s desire.

    • Oo naman. Dahil kaya nila ma disqualify si Jojo by imputing to him a charge of premature campaigning – at yan ang gagawin ni Senyora Layla pag upo nya kapalit si Boy. Pag hindi maka takbo si Jojo, sigurado na tatakbo si Joseph and it is best to disqualify him now. Malaking sampal sa mga naghaharing uri pag nanalo uli si Joseph dahl sila ang namuhunan para ito mapalsik.