SC to render ‘wise’ ruling on QW case vs. Duterte: Palace

MANILA MalacaAang on Wednesday expressed confidence that the Supreme Court (SC) will make correct and wise decisions based on the quo warranto petition filed by suspended lawyer and former nuisance presidential candidate Elly Pamatong against President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

We respect the Court as an independent institution. We are confident it will render the correct and wise decision, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

We're confident though that its utterly bereft of legal and factual merit, he added.

Pamatong filed a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court against President Duterte for allegedly usurping the powers of the chief executive over a purportedly illegal certificate of candidacy (COC) for the 2016 polls.

In a five-page petition for quo warranto, Pamatong, who ran for president in 2004 and 2010 but was declared a nuisance candidate, called Duterte a usurper because the COC the latter filed in 2015 was not allowed by law.

Prior to the elections on May 9, 2016, Rodrigo Roa Duterte withdrew his COC for mayor in Davao City and, thereafter, filed another COC for another position or for the position of the Presidency. According to the Comelec this process is not allowed by law, the petition read.

Under the law, a candidate who withdraws his COC for one position cannot thereafter file a COC for another position, it added, without stating what law Pamatong was referring to.

Pamatong told SC that Duterte lacked the constitutional authority to "represent the government in any capacity" because his COC was filed late and was "never approved" by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc.

Duterte was then substitute candidate for PDP-Laban partymate Martin DiAo.

The Comelec en banc accepted Duterte's candidacy, as a substitute for then anti-crime advocate and now Interior undersecretary DiAo, in December 2015.

Rule 66 of the Rules of Court states that a quo warranto pleading may be brought in behalf of the Philippine republic against, among others, a person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office, position or franchise.

Last month, the SC granted the quo warranto petition of Solicitor General Jose Calida, effectively ousting Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on the grounds lack of eligibility.

Pamatong, who earned notoriety for scattering spikes or caltrops on Roxas Boulevard in 2004, also admitted to partial responsibility for a set of explosives found at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in 2014.

He was suspended from practicing law by the SC on June 2016 for "slanderous" language against a judge whom he accused of corruption. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency