SC: Erap rule final

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Supreme Court yesterday affirmed with finality its decision dismissing a petition seeking the disqualification of former President Estrada as a candidate in the presidential election.

SC spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said Vanguard’s petition was filed prematurely since there are still pending cases in the Commission on Elections on the issue.

“With regard to the petition of Vanguard which is seeking the disqualification of former President Joseph Estrada, the petition is being denied with finality there being no substantial argument in the petition…That is already actually a motion for reconsideration filed by the Vanguard and the decision of the Court there is to deny the motion for reconsideration with finality,” Marquez told reporters.

Vanguard sought to invalidate the certificate of candidacy Estrada filed on Nov. 30, 2009 on the ground the former president is barred under the Constitution from seeking the presidency again.

The petition cited Section 4, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution which states: “The President and the Vice President shall be elected by direct vote of the people which shall begin for a term of six years at noon of the thirtieth day of June next following the day of the election and end at the noon on the same date six years after. The President shall not be eligible for any reelection. No person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time.”

Estrada, who was elected in 1998, failed to finish his term as president after he was ousted in 2001 through the Edsa People Power 2.