MANILA, Philippines – Can former President Joseph Estrada run for mayor of Manila?
This is the question being asked by 2 lawyers who noted that Estrada is barred from seeking any elective post, based on the pardon signed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2007.
Lawyers Fernando R. Perito and Nepthali Aliposa, both holding office at 2F Jefferson Building in Port Area, Manila, said the conditional pardon granted to Estrada after he was convicted of plunder was to "prohibit the convicted felon from running in any elected position or office."
The third paragraph of the pardon states "Whereas, Joseph Ejercito Estrada has publicly committed to no longer seek any elective position of office."
On the other hand, the pardon also declared that Estrada’s civil and political rights have been restored.
The two lawyers were also behind the disbarment complaint against Justice Secretary Leila De Lima that ultimately caused her disqualification as a nominee for Chief Justice.
In 2010, two petitions for disqualification were filed at the Commission on Elections against Estrada invoking the Constitutional prohibition on re-election for the presidency.
The Comelec, however, junked both petitions for lack of merit. It said it would be better to "let the people decide" if they still want Estrada as president.
Estrada placed second in the 2010 election, garnering a total of 9.49 million votes. Benigno S. Aquino III won after getting 15.21 million votes.