Pamatong files quo warranto vs Duterte

Lian Buan
Pamatong files quo warranto vs Duterte
(UPDATED) Under the Rules of Court only the solicitor general, a public prosecutor, and an individual who has a claim to the office can file a quo warranto petition

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Suspended lawyer Elly Pamatong is the first to jump on the quo warranto bandwagon when he filed a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, June 6.

Pamatong’s quo warranto petition is anchored on the clerical mistake in the PDP-Laban certificate of candidacy (COC) of its presidential candidate for the May 2016 presidential elections.

PDP Laban member Martin Diño filed a COC for president as a place holder for Duterte. While the first page of Diño’s COC said he was running for president, the second page said he was running for mayor of Pasay City. 

In February 2016, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division dismissed the disqualification cases against Duterte, which allowed him to run and eventually win.

Pamatong is resurrecting this issue. In his petition, he told the Supreme Court: “Rodrigo Duterte won and was elected president by voters who were not informed of the fact that he was not qualified to run; and, thereafter, Duterte usurped the Presidency without a simulacrum of Constitutional authority in flagrant violation of Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code.”

Pamatong’s quo warranto petition, however, may not go far in the High Court because procedurally, he is not qualified to file the petition.

Rule 66 of the Rules of Court is clear: only the solicitor general, a public prosecutor, and an individual with a claim to the position supposedly “usurped” by the subject of the petition can file.

Pamatong’s 7-page petition does not address the question of his qualification to file the quo warranto against Duterte. But he said that he should have been allowed to run for president in the 2016 elections.

Malacañang expessed confidence that the SC would render the “correct and wise decision” on the petition which the Palace described as “utterly bereft of legal and factual merit,” 

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

The Comelec had declared Pamatong a nuisance candidate in the 2016 elections. In 2016, the SC suspended him from practicing law for two years.

Duterte has resorted to joking about Pamatong’s presidential claims, calling him “pretender to the throne” after the latter proclaimed in a Facebook video that he was the president of the Philippines. – with a report fom Pia Ranada/Rappler.com

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.