It's a full go for Erap as Comelec junks last disqualification case

Kim Arveen Patria
Kim Arveen Patria
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

Former President Joseph Estrada can push through with his bid to be Manila mayor, as the poll body on Tuesday junked a disqualification case against him.

The Commission on Elections' second division dismissed the case against Estrada for "utter lack [of] merit," a resolution promulgated April 1 showed.

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Estrada, who heads the United Nationalist Alliance with Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, is running against administration-backed Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim.

The heated rivalry which pitted the two former friends into ugly word wars has since turned legal, with several cases filed against Estrada and his allies.

The disqualification case was based on claims that Estrada's pardon from former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo barred him from seeking an elective government post.

The Comelec resolution, however, cited its earlier ruling that Estrada's "right to seek public office has been effectively restored by the pardon vested upon him" by Arroyo.

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This is the last legal impediment to candidacy hurdled by Estrada, after the Manila Regional Trial Court dismissed a disqualification case against him March 4.

The court junked the case, which used the presidential pardon as basis in seeking Estrada's disqualification, deferring to Comelec's jurisdiction over the issue.

There have also been other cases filed before the anti-graft and Supreme Courts, most of which cited earlier rulings which allowed Estrada's presidential bid in 2010.

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