Petitioner in case vs Erap won't appeal SC ruling
MANILA, Philippines – The petitioner in the disqualification case against former president now Manila Mayor Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada is no longer appealing the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the official.
Lawyer Alicia Vidal said in a phone patch interview on ANC aired Thursday, January 22, she has heeded the advice of her lawyer to "move on" since 11 Supreme Court justices had ruled that the pardon granted to Estrada in 2007 was an "absolute pardon" that fully restored his civil and political rights.
"Let's just move on so that we wouldn't add confusion to the situation. The Supreme Court has decided, and this is like a law so we respect it," Vidal said in Filipino, recalling the advice of her lawyer.
Vidal told the same news channel shortly after the verdict was released to the public on Wednesday, January 21, that she would file a motion for reconsideration, to keep convicted plunderers out of public office.
While Estrada was convicted of plunder by the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan, the SC ruled 11-3 that the pardon subsequently granted to him by then president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo restored his civil and political rights.
Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro penned the SC decision. Then presiding justice of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan, De Castro was part of the special division that convicted Estrada of plunder.
Concurring with De Castro are Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr, Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Martin Villarama Jr, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza, Bienvenido Reyes, and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.
Those who dissented are Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.
Newly-appointed Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza inhibited from voting due to his previous participation as then Solicitor General. – Rappler.com