By Dane Angelo M. Enerio
A SUSPENDED lawyer on Wednesday filed before the Supreme Court (SC) a quo warranto petition against President Rodrigo R. Duterte, citing as basis Mr. Duterte’s alleged failure to secure a certificate of candidacy (CoC) as approved by the Commission on Elections when he ran for president in 2016.
This came a month after the SC in May 11 granted the quo warranto petition of Solicitor-General Jose C. Calida that effectively ousted Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno from her post as Chief Justice. Her camp had earlier warned that granting Mr. Calida’s petition may lead to similar petitions in the future against impeachable officials like Ms. Sereno and Mr. Duterte.
Elly L. Pamatong’s six-page petition claims that Mr. “Duterte’s CoC was not approved on or before the day (of) national elections on May 9, 2016. And thus, Duterte is clearly a usurper of the law (sic).”
“Duterte’s filing of CoC for the presidency was illegal because, under the law, a candidate who withdraws his CoC for one position cannot thereafter file a CoC for another position,” Mr. Pamatong also said.
“[S]ince the Presidential elections… on May 9, 2016 were sabotaged by the Comelec,…both the Presidency and the Vice Presidency are in effect vacant or empty subject to the rule of succession,” he added.
Contrary to Mr. Pamatong’s claims, however, the Comelec en banc approved Mr. Duterte’s CoC as presidential candidate on Dec. 17, 2015, after ruling that he complied with the poll body’s rules when he substituted Martin D. Diño as standard-bearer of the PDP-Laban.
According to the Rules of Court, only the solicitor-general, public prosecutor, and claimants of usurped positions may file a quo warranto petition.
Mr. Pamatong claims that he has the right to replace Mr. Duterte’s “usurped” position.
Mr. Pumatong was flagged by the Comelec as a nuisance candidate in the 2004 and 2010 presidential elections. In response to his disqualification in 2004, he ordered his supporters to place metal spikes on EDSA, earning him the moniker “Spike Boy.”
He was suspended from practicing law in June 2016 for committing slander against a judge.